Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)

“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 while trying to succeed.”

“Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”

“The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it is what a man or woman is able to do that counts.”

“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 the 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.”

“Character is power.”

“I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.”

“Character, not circumstances, make the man.”

“Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.”

“I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.”

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”

“You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.”

“No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.”

“Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.”

“One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.”

“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.”

“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.”

“Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”

“Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the everyday things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.”

“At the bottom of education, at the bottom of politics, even at the bottom of religion, there must be for our race economic independence.”

“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.”

“We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”

“We do not want the men of another color for our brothers-in-law, but we do want them for our brothers.”

“There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple and useful life.”

“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.”

“We must reinforce argument with results.”

“If you can’t read, it’s going to be hard to realize dreams.”

“To hold a man down, you have to stay down with him.”

“The individual who can do something that the world wants done will, in the end, make his way regardless of his race.”

“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.”

 

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