In addition to Women’s History Month 2015, this year marks 150 years since the end of chattel slavery in America, and 100 years since the death of Booker T. Washington —former slave turned famous educator, founder of Tuskegee University, and the most influential African-American leader of his time. In commemoration of these three significant events in American history, Booker T. Washington’s great-granddaughter, Sarah Washington O’Neal Rush, is on a mission to incite hope and create positive change across America with her latest book, “Rising Up From the Blood: A Legacy Reclaimed, A Bridge Forward.”
This incredible tell-all true story, sheds light on how one remarkable woman, the last born of Washington’s great-grandchildren, experienced growing up near poverty, and “at-risk” in Oakland, California with only hints of her famous “blue-blood” legacy. Yet, she was able to rise above her circumstances—but not until she learned how her great-grandfather was able to rise above slavery to become the most influential black leader of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The courage of Booker T.’s mother, Jane, who was born a slave, and the earnestness of Sarah’s mother, the late Agnes Louise Washington, reinforce the lessons woven throughout this book. Sarah shares openly about her life, from falling and failing, to rising and achieving. Today, equipped with wisdom and personal experience, this author, motivational speaker, and educator brilliantly tells her story.
When recently asked if it was difficult to write her story with such candidness, Sarah said, “It was difficult because there is a lot in this book that I have never shared with anyone before. I was afraid of being judged harshly. But, my great-grandfather once said, ‘Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.’ With that in mind, I wrote my autobiography. Now, every time someone tells me how my story has empowered them to rise, achieve, and heal, I know that writing my story was not in vain.”
This book is not only an excellent read, but it is a motivational tool, especially for women, college students, urban youth, educators, counselors, and social workers.
“Rising Up From the Blood: A Legacy Reclaimed, A Bridge Forward,” by Sarah Washington O’Neal Rush, with Yvonne Rose, and a forward by Tony Rose, NAACP Image Award Winner for Outstanding Literature, is available now on Amazon.com.