Booker T Washington Quotes About Education, Slavery, Success, Truth, Freedom, Racism & Equality! Booker T. Washington was a remarkable African American leader in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and he was responsible for the establishment of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. However, on April 5, 1856, Washington was born into an enslaved family, and his early existence had little promise.
Washington began working at the plantation’s mill as a young boy, hauling grain sacks. For a tiny boy, hauling 100-pound sacks was difficult, and he was thrashed on several occasions for failing to fulfill his responsibilities.
When Washington graduated from Hampton University in 1875, he received excellent grades. Tuskegee University rose to prominence under Washington’s guidance and became one of the nation’s premier institutions. The school had more than 100 well-equipped facilities, 1,500 students, a 200-member staff teaching 38 trades and professions, and a roughly $2 million endowment at the time of his death.
Washington put a lot of himself into the school’s curriculum, focusing on the virtues of patience, hard work, and saving money, as well as many of his ideas. For example, he said that African Americans would have to wait for a long time before achieving economic and political equality.
‘Atlanta Compromise,’ his 1895 speech, cemented his place in history as a national icon. Because he primarily taught blacks how to make a living by teaching them practical topics, others thought he favored slavery for the whites. Washington continued in charge of Tuskegee Institute until he died of congestive heart failure on November 14, 1915, at 59. His words and thoughts will urge you to put the past behind you and pursue the future with a new outlook.
Best Booker T Washington Quotes
- “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.” Booker T. Washington
- “There is another class of colored 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.” Booker T. Washington
- “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.” Booker T. Washington
- “The happiest people are those who do the most for others. The most miserable are those who do the least.” Booker T. Washington
- “Most leaders spend time trying to get others to think highly of them when instead they should try to get their people to think more highly of themselves. It’s wonderful when people believe in their leader. It’s more wonderful when the leader believes in their people! You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.” Booker T. Washington
- “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
- “There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” Booker T. Washington
- “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
- “Never get to the point where you will be ashamed to ask anybody for information. The ignorant man will always be ignorant if he fears that by asking another for information he will display ignorance. Better once display your ignorance of a certain subject than always know nothing of it.” Booker T. Washington
- “Political activity alone cannot make a man free. Back of the ballot, he must have property, industry, skill, economy, intelligence, and character.” ~ Booker T. Washington
- “Decide to be your best. In the long run, the world is going to want and have the best and that might as well be you.” Booker T. Washington
- “Great men cultivate love…only little men cherish a spirit of hatred” Booker T. Washington
- “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
- “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, their slavery exists. Wherever in any country, the whole people feel that the happiness of all is dependent upon the happiness of the weakest, their freedom exists.” Booker T. Washington
- “The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what the man or woman is able to do that count.” Booker T. Washington
- “Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.” Booker T. Washington
- “Think about it: we went into slavery pagans; we came out Christians. We went into slavery pieces of property; we came out with American citizens. We went into slavery with chains clanking about our wrists; we came out with the American ballot in our hands.” Booker T. Washington
- “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.” ~ Booker T. Washington
- “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
- “Holding a grudge does not hurt the person against whom the grudge is held, it hurts the one who holds it.” Booker T. Washington
- “I never liked the atmosphere of Washington. I early saw that it was impossible to build up a race of which the leaders were spending most of their time, thought and energy in trying to get into office, or in trying to stay thereafter they were in.” Booker T. Washington
- “An inch of progress is worth more than a yard of the complaint.” Booker T. Washington
- “The wisest among my race understand that agitations of social equality are 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
- “Every person who has grown to any degree of usefulness, every person who has grown to distinction, almost without exception has been a person who has risen by overcoming obstacles, by removing difficulties, by resolving that when he met discouragement he would not give up.” Booker T. Washington
- “The circumstances that surround a man’s life are not important. How that man responds to those circumstances IS IMPORTANT. His response is the ultimate determining factor between success and failure.” Booker T. Washington
- “Those who have accomplished the greatest results are those…who never grow excited or lose self-control, but are always calm, self-possessed, patient and polite.” Booker T. Washington
- “You may fill your heads with the knowledge or skillfully train your hands, but unless it is based upon high, upright character, upon a true heart, it will amount to nothing. You will be no better than the most ignorant.” Booker T. Washington
- “It often requires more courage to suffer in silence than to rebel, more courage not to strike back than to retaliate, more courage to be silent than to speak.” Booker T. Washington
- “Remember that everyone’s life is measured by the power that an individual has to make the world better-this is all life is.” Booker T. Washington
- “Living is the art of loving. Loving is the art of caring. Caring is the art of sharing. Sharing is the art of living. If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” Booker T. Washington