Cement the Friendship of the Races

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Overall, I was really impressed with the words of Booker T. Washington.  Therefore, I will shine a light on a few of his teachings that stood out to me. 

"I early learned that it is a hard matter to convert an individual by abusing him, and that this is more often accomplished by giving credit for all the praiseworthy actions performed than by calling attention alone to all the evil done." This reminds me of the idea that killing one with kindness is the best tactic.  No one responds to criticism that only holds a negative tone. 

I also agreed with him when he made the point that any individual who learns to do something better than the next guy, no matter the color of skin, has solved his problem.  He was not giving the "negro man" an easy way out.  He was not trying to give such a man the upper hand, but instead he wanted equality for ALL hardworking men.  Respect must be earned.    

I feel that during this time blacks and whites spoke a different language, therefore, understanding one another was an impossibility. After hearing Washington, I came to a conclusion that he discovered a language that could speak to both whites and blacks.  He did this successfully through his ideas. If we do not stop discriminating, we will "stop the progress of the world" and the first step away from this is to "cement the friendship of the races". He stressed for congress to "encourage the material and intellectual growth of BOTH races".   

Grover Cleveland thought Washington inspired everyone "to gain every valuable advantage offered by their citizenship".  This message can inspire us today. We never experienced lack of citizenship, but Washington's words can put it into perspective for us.  This will prevent us from taking advantage of our freedom and lift us to a place where we want to be everything our freedom allows us to be.

Last but not least, I could not agree more with this statement: "The happiest people are those who do the most for others".   

2 Comments

Jeremy Barrick said:

I really do not think that races should have been separated in the first place; although they probably will be forever. Blacks and whites do speak different languages, but to mediate between them took a strong man like Washington.

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