In Character Building are 37 addresses that Booker T. Washington gave before students, faculty, and guests at the Tuskegee Institute. These addresses take the form of timeless advice on a number of subjects.
These talks are delivered - in the motivational and uplifting manner one would expect from this American icon - on education, ethics, morals, deportment, spirituality, and the dignity of labor. These short talks contain sage advice fit to focus the mind and heart toward the building up of self, while never relinquishing the personal responsibility we have to one another.
"Let every person get into the habit of planning every day for the comfort and welfare of others, let each one try to live as unselfishly as possible, remembering that the Bible says: 'He that would save his life, must lose it.' And you never saw a person save his life in this higher sense, in the Christ-like sense, unless that person was willing, day by day, to lose himself in the interest of his fellow men. Such persons save their own lives, and in saving them save thousands of other lives."
- "What About Our Future", Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington received criticism constantly from his contemporaries for being to conciliatory to whites regarding civil rights; however, the course of his life did reflect a man deeply concerned about the rights of Americans with African descent. Unfortunately, he was not credited for his efforts until shortly after his death in 1915.
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