Lighthouse Trails Publishing is pleased to announce the release of our latest book, Up From Slavery: An Extraordinary Story by an Extraordinary Man by Booker T. Washington (a special edition with over 40 photos).
If you or your children or grandchildren have never read Booker T. Washinton’s autobiography, Up From Slavery, then we highly recommend you do so now. In a day and age when “wokeism,” Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter are trying to persuade our society (especially young people) that all black people are victims and all white people are racist (because of skin color, not actions), Booker T. Washington, who was born into slavery, would be the first one to disagree with such notions.
Over one hundred years ago, Booker T. Washington penned the story of his own life. That story could not be more useful and more needed than in our present-day culture of confusion, unrest, and distrust. Most of Booker’s childhood was as a slave, and the remaining youth years after freedom were in extreme poverty and hardship. But Booker refused to see himself as a victim and was determined to hate no man, even former slave owners. Putting his faith in God and rising above insurmountable obstacles, he created a foundation for his life that was built on tenacity, love, forgiveness, hard work, and integrity; and in so doing, he became one of the most respected and loved men of his day. He once stated, “As for my individual self, it appeared to me to be reasonably certain I could succeed in political life, but I had a feeling it would be a rather selfish kind of success—individual success at the cost of failing to do my duty in assisting in laying a foundation for the masses.”
Booker’s answer to prejudice and racism was not retaliation and hatred but rather was to “cultivate love.” “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 resolved I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him. With God’s help, I believe I have completely rid myself of any ill feeling toward the Southern white man for any wrong he may have inflicted upon my race. I am made to feel just as happy now when I am rendering service to Southern white men as when the service is rendered to a member of my own race. I pity from the bottom of my heart any individual who is so unfortunate as to get into the habit of holding race prejudice.”
Booker carried this view into his work with his race of people at Tuskegee University, where he taught through example and extraordinary leadership the importance of education, hard work, selfless sacrifice, and devotion to God. He found these to be the key to a happy and fulfilling life. “I believe that any man’s life will be filled with constant, unexpected encouragements if he makes up his mind to . . . reach as nearly as possible the high-water mark of pure, unselfish, useful living. I pity the man, black or white, who has never experienced the joy and satisfaction that come to one by reason of an effort to assist in making someone else more useful and more happy.”