photo: Booker T. reading

The Future of the American Negro

by Booker T. Washington


"On Black History"

An excerpt ...

We have reached a period when educated Negroes should give more attention to the history of their race; should devote more time to finding out the true history of the race, and in collecting in some museum the relics that mark its progress. It is true of all races of culture and refinement and civilization that they have gathered in some place the relics, which mark the progress of their civilization, which show how they lived from period to period. We should have so much pride that we would spend more time in looking into the history of the race, more effort and money in perpetuating in some durable form its achievements, so that from year to year, instead of looking back with regret, we can point to our children the rough path through which we grew strong and great.

We have a bright and striking example in the history of the Jews in this and other countries. There is, perhaps, no race that has suffered so much, not so much in America as in some of the countries in Europe. But these people have clung together. They have had a certain amount of unity, pride, and love of race; and, as the years go on, they will be more and more influential in this country, where they were once despised, and looked upon with scorn and derision. It is largely because the Jewish race has had faith in itself. Unless the Negro learns more-and more to imitate the Jew in these matters, to have faith in himself, he cannot expect to have any high degree of success.

And From the Publisher: "The BTW Chronicles"...

Dr. Carter G. Woodson may have been inspired by Dr. Washington's leadership when he later authored his first book, "The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861" (pub: 1915) of which he presented Dr. Washington a copy. That same year, he also founded The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.

Arturo Alfonso Schomberg with his now famous collection of Negro History items is probably the largest of its kind.

Dr. Washington's philosophy of self-help, self-reliance, industry and race pride pre-dated all of his contemporaries and latter day race 'leader'.

The returning graduates of Tuskegee to Kingston, Jamaica carried back with the spirit of entrepreneurism, self-reliance and economic independence and pride of race. Those returnees influenced young Marcus Garvey who was 13 years of age in 1900, when Dr. Washington founded the National Negro Business League. The tendency of the 'West Indian' and the Black Nationalist is to put down or deny Dr. Washington and elevate Garvey probably because of Caribbean chauvinism.

Even DuBois (Washington's open enemy) in the last days of his life, grudgingly acknowledged Dr. Washington's philosophy of Black American Self-Help and African Redemption.

All of the latter-day 'leaders' copied Washington's economic plan, and are still quoting his words (except the NAACP and Urban League) and presenting them as if they were the originators. The enemies of his philosophy are suppressing to this day Dr. Washington's 14 books.