Booker T. Washington

As I mentioned last week, February is Black History Month and a time to acknowledge the accomplishments and achievements African-Americans have contributed to the fabric of our nation’s culture, society, and civilization. In celebration, a few thoughts are presented from black historical figures who have interesting perspectives. This week’s comment is from Booker T. Washington, who wrote,

“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 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.”

(From his Book, My Larger Education, Being Chapters from My Experience, DoubleDay Page and Company © 1910, 1911)

(Photo, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-2560 (b&w film copy neg.))

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