Books That Inspire 2006

Up From Slavery
Booker T. Washington

I first read Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery at the age of 19, when I decided to begin reading books for self-improvement. Up From Slavery taught me many things, but mostly that my "reasons" for not pursuing dreams are often merely excuses. Reading about the dire circumstances, sheer determination, and force of will of Mr. Washington’s fight for education made me realize that my impoverished background represented a small obstacle compared to the enormous barriers faced by Mr. Washington. The continuing and steady influence of Up From Slavery was a major factor when I (finally!) enrolled in college at the age of 29. Nearly 20 years later, I’m still in school, but will soon complete a Ph.D.
Jan Simmons
Program Director
National Conference Logistics Center