Booker T. Washington Quotes

I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed.
Booker T. Washington (Up From Slavery - Chapter 2, 1901)
There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.
Booker T. Washington
You can't hold a man down without staying down with him.
Booker T. Washington (Speech on Abraham Lincoln in New York, 1909)
The longer I live and the more experience I have of the world, the more I am convinced that, after all, the one thing that is most worth living for-and dying for, if need be-is the opportunity of making someone else more happy.
Booker T. Washington (Speech in Atlanta - The Atlanta Exposition Address, 1895)
No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.
Booker T. Washington (Speech in Atlanta - The Atlanta Exposition Address, 1895)
Character, not circumstance, makes the person.
Booker T. Washington (Speech in Brooklyn, New York, 1896)
Dignify and glorify common labor. It is at the bottom of life that we must begin, not at the top.
Booker T. Washington (The Story of My Life and Work - Chapter 10, 1900)
I believe that any man's life will be filled with constant and unexpected encouragement, if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day, and as nearly as possible reaching the high water mark of pure and useful living.
Booker T. Washington (Up From Slavery - Chapter 17, 1901)
I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.
Booker T. Washington (Up From Slavery - Chapter 11, 1901)
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 - Chapter 11, 1901)
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 - Chapter 13, 1901)
Nothing ever comes to me, that is worth having, except as the result of hard work.
Booker T. Washington (Up From Slavery - Chapter 12, 1901)
Success always leaves footprints.
Booker T. Washington
In any country, regardless of what its laws say, wherever people act upon the idea that the disadvantage of one man is the good of another, there slavery exists. Wherever, in any country the whole people feel that the happiness of all is dependent upon the happiness of the weakest, there freedom exists.
Booker T. Washington (Speech on Abraham Lincoln in New York, 1909)
The older I grow, the more I am convinced that there is no education which one can get from books and costly apparatus that is equal to that which can be gotten from contact with great men and women.
Booker T. Washington (The Struggle for an Education)
The world cares very little what you or I know, but it does care a great deal about what you or I do.
Booker T. Washington (Speech at a church in Boston, Massachusetts, 1903)
To those of my race who . . . underestimate the importance of cultivating friendly relations with the Southern white man, who is their next-door neighbor, I would say, ''Cast down your bucket where you are''—cast it down in making friends in every manly way of the people of all races by whom we are surrounded.
Booker T. Washington (Speech in Atlanta - The Atlanta Exposition Address, 1895)
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
Booker T. Washington (The Story of My Life and Work, 1900)
Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the every day things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.
Booker T. Washington
Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.
Booker T. Washington
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.
Booker T. Washington (Up From Slavery - Chapter 1, 1901)
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.
Booker T. Washington (Speech on Abraham Lincoln in New York, 1909)
There is no power on earth, that can neutralize the influence of a high, pure, simple and useful life.
Booker T. Washington (The Virtue of Simplicity)
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 - Chapter 12, 1901)
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.
Booker T. Washington (Up From Slavery - Chapter 1, 1901)
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.
Booker T. Washington (Speech in Birmingham)
Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.
Booker T. Washington
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.
Booker T. Washington (Speech in Atlanta - The Atlanta Exposition Address, 1895)
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 - Chapter 4, 1901)

Booker T. Washington Biography

Born: April 5, 1856
Died: November 14, 1915

Booker T. Washington was an American political leader and educator. He had a major role in the African American community in the turn of the 20th century.

Notable Works

The Future of the American Negro (1899)
Up from Slavery (1901)
Working With the Hands (1904)
The Negro in the South (1907)
Signature

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