Booker T. Washington

(Booker Taliaferro Washington)

Quote Topics Cited
… it must be borne in mind that we have in the South a peculiar and unprecedented state of things. It is of the utmost importance that our energy be given to meeting conditions that exist right about us rather than conditions that existed centuries ago or that exist in countries a thousand miles away. What are the cardinal needs among the colored people in the South, most of whom are to be found on the plantations? Roughly, these needs may be stated as food, clothing, shelter, education, proper habits, and a settlement of race relations … Minorities & Women
At the bottom of education, at the bottom of politics, even at the bottom of religion, there must be for our race, economic independence. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs ;Social Sciences
During the next half-century or more, my race must continue passing through the severe American crucible. We are to be tested in our patience, our forbearance, our perseverance, our power to endure wrong, to withstand temptations, to economize, to acquire and use skill; our ability to compete, to succeed in commerce, to disregard the superficial for the real, the appearance for the substance, to be great and yet small, learned and yet simple, high and yet the servant of all. This, this is the passport to all that is best in the life of our Republic, and the Negro must possess it, or be de barred. Minorities & Women
Friction between the races will pass away in proportion as the black man … can produce something that the white man wants or respects in the commercial world. Discrimination & Prejudice
I dread the idea of seeming to intrude my views too often upon the public Public Relations & Image
In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers yet as one hand in all things essential to mutual progress.. Discrimination & Prejudice
The opportunity to earn a dollar…. just now is worth… more than the opportunity to spend a dollar in an opera house. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
The social lines that were once sharply drawn between those who labored with the hand and those who did not are disappearing. Those who formerly sought to escape labor, now when they see that brains and skill rob labor of the toil and drudgery once associated with it, instead of trying to avoid it are willing to pay to be taught how to engage in it. The South is beginning to see labor raised up, dignified and beautified, and in this sees its salvation. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
This country demands that every race measure itself by the American standard. By it a race must rise or fall, succeed or fail… Equality & Equal Opportunity
Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
At the bottom of education, at the bottom of politics, even at the bottom of religion, there must be for our race economic independence. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Independence
Character is power. Power
Character, not circumstances, makes the man.
Dignify and glorify common labor. It is at the bottom of life that we must begin, not at the top. Life
Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.
Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him. Trust
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 had to overcome while trying to succeed. Life ;Success
I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.
If you can't read, it's going to be hard to realize dreams.
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
No greater injury can be done to any youth than to let him feel that because he belongs to this or that race he will be advanced in life regardless of his own merits or efforts. Life
No man, who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives, is left long without proper reward.
No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.
Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.
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. Life ;Success
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. Life ;Success
The individual who can do something that the world wants done will, in the end, make his way regardless of his race.
There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.
There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple and useful life. Life ;Power
To hold a man down, you have to stay down with him.
We do not want the men of another color for our brothers-in-law, but we do want them for our brothers.
We must reinforce argument with results.
You can't hold a man down without staying down with him.