booker t. washington Quotes

Booker T. Washington Quotes

Birth Date: 1856-04-05 (Saturday, April 5th, 1856)
Date of Death: 1915-11-14 (Sunday, November 14th, 1915)

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booker t. washington life timeline

Booker T. Washington becomes the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.Sunday, April 7th, 1940

Quotes

    • Men may make laws to hinder and fetter the ballot, but men cannot make laws that will bind or retard the growth of manhood. We went into slavery a piece of property; we came out American citizens. We went into slavery pagans; we came out Christians. We went into slavery without a language; we came out speaking the proud Anglo-Saxon tongue. We went into slavery with slave chains clanking about our wrists; we came out with the American ballot in our hands. Progress, progress is the law of nature; under God it shall be our eternal guiding star.
    • Character, not circumstances, makes the man.
    • I think I have learned that the best way to lift one's self up is to help someone else.
    • There is no power on earth, that can neutralize the influence of a high, pure, simple and useful life.
    • The world cares very little what you or I know, but it does care a great deal about what you or I do.
    • Of all forms of slavery there is none that is so harmful and degrading as that form of slavery which tempts one human being to hate another by reason of his race or color. One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.
    • Opportunity is like a bald-headed man with only a patch of hair right in front. You have to grab that hair, grasp the opportunity while it's confronting you, else you'll be grasping a slick bald head.
    • From some things that I have said one may get the idea that some of the slaves did not want freedom. This is not true. I have never seen one who did not want to be free, or one who would return to slavery.
    • I pity from the bottom of my heart any nation or body of people that is so unfortunate as to get entangled in the net of slavery. I have long since ceased to cherish any spirit of bitterness against the Southern white people on account of the enslavement of my race. No one section of our country was wholly responsible for its introduction, and, besides, it was recognized and protected for years by the General Government. Having once got its tentacles fastened on to the economic and social life of the Republic, it was no easy matter for the country to relieve itself of the institution. Then, when we rid ourselves of prejudice, or racial feeling, and look facts in the face, we must acknowledge that, notwithstanding the cruelty and moral wrong of slavery, the ten million Negroes inhabiting this country, who themselves or whose ancestors went through the school of American slavery, are in a stronger and more hopeful condition, materially, intellectually, morally, and religiously, than is true of an equal number of black people in any other portion of the globe. This is so to such an extend that Negroes in this country, who themselves or whose forefathers went through the school of slavery, are constantly returning to Africa as missionaries to enlighten those who remained in the fatherland. This I say, not to justify slavery - on the other hand, I condemn it as an institution, as we all know that in America it was established for selfish and financial reasons, and not from a missionary motive - but to call attention to a fact, and to show how Providence so often uses men and institutions to accomplish a purpose.
    • I have learned that 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 while trying to succeed. Looked at from this standpoint, I almost reached the conclusion that often the Negro boy's birth and connection with an unpopular race is an advantage, so far as real life is concerned. With few exceptions, the Negro youth must work harder and must perform his tasks even better than a white youth in order to secure recognition. But out of the hard and unusual struggle through which he is compelled to pass, he gets a strength, a confidence, that one misses whose pathway is comparatively smooth by reason of birth and race.
    • I learned the lesson that great men cultivate love, and that only little men cherish a spirit of hatred. I learned that assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong; and that oppression of the unfortunate makes one weak.
    • I would permit no man, no matter what his colour might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.
    • Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.
    • Nothing ever comes to me, that is worth having, except as the result of hard work.
    • Cast down your bucket where you are.
    • In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.
    • No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top.
    • No man who continues to add something to the material, intellectual, and moral well-being of the place in which he lives is long left without proper reward.
    • My whole life has largely been one of surprises. I believe that any man's life will be filled with constant, unexpected encouragements of this kind if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day of his life - that is, tries to make each day reach as nearly as possible the high-water mark of pure, unselfish, useful living.
    • There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs - partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do do not want to lose their jobs.
    • I am afraid that there is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don't want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public. My experience is that people who call themselves 'The Intellectuals' understand theories, but they do not understand things. I have long been convinced that, if these men could have gone into the South and taken up and become interested in some practical work which would have brought them in touch with people and things, the whole world would have looked very different to them. Bad as conditions might have seemed at first, when they saw that actual progress was being made, they would have taken a more hopeful view of the situation.
    • Character is power.
    • Holding a grudge does not hurt the person against whom the grudge is held, it hurts the one who holds it.
    • There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.
    • Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
    • booker t. washington

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