Booker T. Washington

Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington, © 1901

Reading Level: 1320 Lexile

I recently completed Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington, which has been on my to-read list for quite awhile now. Earlier this year I read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and it was my desire to compare the two. I must say that I prefer Booker T. Washington’s tone and servant heart. Both narratives are quite different because Booker T. Washington deals with post Civil War Emancipation issues (educating and equipping) whereas Frederick Douglass focuses on escaping abuse whilst trying to persuade his audience of the vile nature of slavery.

Head, Heart, & Hands

What stood out to me most from Booker T. Washington was his view that “a superior race will not permanently carry an individual forward unless he has individual worth.” The worth of an individual are that person’s: merits, talents, abilities, experience, and character. This reminded me that in California it is required to go thru the new ethnic studies course in order to graduate; the goal of which uses race in order to divide and eliminates the “individual.” 1 I also appreciated his encouragement to make oneself indispensable. What would our economy and businesses look like if each person saw “work” not as degrading labor, but as what we are called to do for the glory of God?

Prayer: For Joy in My Job

Heavenly Father, Creator of heaven and earth, it is out of Your love and wisdom that You gave me work to do and fitted me in body and mind to do this work. And yet my sinful will too often dreads the workday and casts about for other things to do. But You, O God, have called me to do this work. Forgive me my sin. Strengthen me by Your Spirit that I may see that my place of work is a field of Your service to my family, my fellow worker, and my neighbor. Give me joy in my vocation, and make me glad and grateful for the strength to serve You; through Jesus Christ. Amen. 2

* Sources:

  1. Meet the Marxist Revolutionaries Behind California’s Emerging Ethnic Studies for Public Schools” by Kenny Xu, August 31, 2021.
    1. California Makes Ethnic Studies a High School Requirement” by Jocelyn Gecker, October 8, 2021.
    2. California Ethnic Studies Curriculum
  2. Lutheran Book of Prayer, Concordia Publishing House, 2005. Prayers for Our Neighbors, Our Family, and Ourselves. p.208.

Further Reading

Booker T. Washington’s “The Awakening of the American Negro.”

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