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Up from Slavery Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
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“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.”
Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery: An Autobiography
“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“I have begun everything with the idea that I could succeed, and I never had much patience with the multitudes of people who are always ready to explain why one cannot succeed.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“Among a large class, there seemed to be a dependence upon the government for every conceivable thing. The members of this class had little ambition to create a position for themselves, but wanted the federal officials to create one for them. How many times I wished then and have often wished since, that by some power of magic, I might remove the great bulk of these people into the country districts and plant them upon the soil – upon the solid and never deceptive foundation of Mother Nature, where all nations and races that have ever succeeded have gotten their start – a start that at first may be slow and toilsome, but one that nevertheless is real.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“The happiest people are those who do the most for others. The most miserable are those who do the least.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“The thing to do when one feels sure that he has said or done the right thing and is condemned, is to stand still and keep quiet. If he is right, time will show it.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“I early learned that it is a hard matter to convert an individual by abusing him, and that this is more often accomplished by giving credit for all the praiseworthy actions performed than by calling attention alone to all the evil done.”
Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery: An Autobiography
“Great men cultivate love and only little men cherish a spirit of hatred; assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong; oppression of the unfortunate makes one weak.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“In order to be successful in any undertaking, I think the main thing is for one to grow to the point where he completely forgets himself; that is, to lose himself in a great cause. In proportion as one loses himself in this way, in the same degree does he get the highest happiness out of his work.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercise of those privileges.”
Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery: An Autobiography
“In my contact with people, I find that, as a rule, it is only the little, narrow people who live for themselves, who never read good books, who do not travel, who never open up their souls in a way to permit them to come into contact with other souls – with the great outside world.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“No white American ever thinks that any other race is wholly civilized until he wears the white man’s clothes, eats the white man’s food, speaks the white man’s language, and professes the white man’s religion.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“It means a great deal, I think, to start off on a foundation which one has made for oneself.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“The wisest among my race understand that agitations of social equality is the extremist folly, and that progress in the enjoyment of all privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“In my contact with people I find that, as a rule, it is only the little, narrow people who live for themselves, who never read good books, who do not travel, who never open up their souls in a way to permit them to come into contact with other souls--with the great outside world. No man whose vision is bounded by colour can come into contact with what is highest and best in the world. In meeting men, in many places, I have found that the happiest people are those who do the most for others; the most miserable are those who do the least.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“The ambition to secure an education was most praiseworthy and encouraging. The idea, however, was too prevalent that, as soon as one secured a little education, in some unexplainable way he would be free from most of the hardships of the world, and, at any rate, could live without manual labour. There was a further feeling that a knowledge, however little, of the Greek and Latin languages would make one a very superior human being, something bordering almost on the supernatural.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“Too often, it seems to me, in missionary and educational work among underdeveloped races, people yield to the temptation of doing that which was done a hundred years before, or is being done in other communities a thousand miles away. The temptation often is to run each individual through a certain educational mould, regardless of the condition of the subject or the end to be accomplished.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“I knew that, in a large degree, we were trying an experiment--that of testing whether or not it was possible for Negroes to build up and control the affairs of a large education institution. I knew that if we failed it wold injure the whole race.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“The great human law that in the end recognizes and rewards merit is everlasting and universal.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery: an autobiography
“I had the feeling that to get into a schoolhouse and study in this way would be about the same as getting into paradise.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“Before the end of the year, I think I began learning that those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery: an autobiography
“The white man who begins by cheating a Negro usually ends by cheating a white man. The white man who begins to break the law by lynching a Negro soon yields to the temptation to lynch a white man.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery - An Autobiography
“Education is not a thing apart from life—not a "system," nor a philosophy; it is direct teaching how to live and how to work.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery: an autobiography
“that my mother had strength of character enough not to be led into the temptation of seeming to be that which she was not—of”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery: an autobiography
“I learned the lesson that great men cultivate love, and that only little men cherish a spirit of hatred.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery
“From his example in this respect 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.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery: an autobiography
“I have been made to feel sad for such persons because I am conscious of the fact that mere connection with what is known as a superior race will not permanently carry an individual forward unless he has individual worth, and mere connection with what is regarded as an inferior race will not finally hold an individual back if he possesses intrinsic, individual merit. Every persecuted individual and race should get much consolation out of the great human law, which is universal and eternal, that merit, no matter under what skin found, is, in the long run, recognized and rewarded.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery: an autobiography
“Among a large class there seemed to be a dependence upon the Government for every conceivable thing. The members of this class had little ambition to create a position for themselves, but wanted the Federal officials to create one for them.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery - An Autobiography
“They cannot degrade Frederick Douglass. The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are inflicting it upon me.”
Booker T. Washington, Up from Slavery - An Autobiography

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