In His Words
have learned that 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.
race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity
in tilling a field as in writing a poem.
will allow no man to drag me down so low as to make me hate
him. No race can hate another without itself being narrowed
and hated. Character, not circumstances, makes the man.
often requires more courage to suffer in silence than to rebel,
more courage not to strike back than to retaliate, more courage
to be silent than to speak.
may fill your heads with knowledge or skillfully train your
hands, but unless it is based upon high, upright character,
upon a true heart, it will amount to nothing. You will be
no better than the most ignorant.
highest test of the civilization of any race is in its willingness
to extend a helping hand to the less fortunate. A, race like
an individual, lifts itself up by lifting others up.
is no permanent safety for any of us or for our institutions
except in the enlightenment of the whole people, except in
continuing to educate until people everywhere be too big to
be little, too broad to be narrow, be too high to stoop to
littleness and meanness.
man who has learned to do something better than anyone else,
has learned to do a common thing in an uncommon manner, is
the man who has a power and influence that no adverse circumstances
can take from him.
an individual produces what the world wants, whether it is
a product of hand, head or heart, the world does not long
stop to inquire what is the color of the skin of the producer.
are certain great natural and economic laws that govern the
problems of nations and races. Soil, rain and sunshine draw
no color line. The forces of nature will yield their wealth
as quickly to the hands of the brown man, the yellow man,
as they will to the hands of any other race. Man may discriminate,
but the economic laws of trade and commerce cannot discriminate.
who lives outside the law is a slave. The free man is the
man who lives within the law, whether that law be the physical
or the divine.
afraid there is a certain class of race problem solvers who
don't want the patient to get well, because as long as the
disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making
a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves
prominent before the public.
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.
race must show to the world by tangible, visible, indisputable
evidence that it can do more than merely call attention to
the wrong inflicted upon it. The reward of life is for those
who choose the good where evil calls out on every hand. That
reward is moral character. The more difficult the struggle,
the more robust the character.
us keep before us the fact that, almost without exception,
every race or nation that has ever got upon its feet has done
so through struggle and trial and persecution; and that out
of this very resistance to wrong, out of the struggle against
odds, they have gained strength, self-confidence, and experience
which they could not have gained in any other way.
pity from the bottom of my heart any individual who is so
unfortunate as to get into the habit of holding race prejudice,
for nothing else makes one so blind and narrow.
the sight of God there is no color line, and we should cultivate
a spirit where we forget that there is a color line anyway.
men cultivate love
Only little men cherish a spirit
world cares very little about what a man or woman knows; it
is what the man or woman is able to do that counts.
must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather
than artificial forcing.
requires little wisdom or statesmanship to repress, to crush
out, to retard the hopes and aspirations of a people; but
the highest and most profound statesmanship is shown in guiding
and stimulating a people so that every fiber in body, mind,
and soul shall be made to contribute in the highest degree
to the usefulness of the state.
education, whether of black or white men, that gives one physical
courage to stand in front of a canon and fails to give him
moral courage to stand up in defense of right and justice,
is a failure.
the final test, the success of our race will be in proportion
to the service that it renders to the world. In the long run
the badge of service is the badge of sovereignty.
we imitate the life of Christ as nearly as possible, heaven
will come about more and more here on the earth.
cannot hold another down in the ditch without staying down
in the ditch with him - and in helping the man who is down
to rise, the man who is up is freeing himself from a burden
that would else keep him down.
believe that every day is a judgment that we reap our rewards
daily and that wherever we sin, we are punished by mental
and physical anxiety and by a weakened character that separates
us from God. Every day is, I take it, a day of judgment, and
as we learn God's laws and grow into his likeness we shall
find ourselves, in this world, a life of usefulness and honor.
greatness of a nation in the future will be measured not by
the vessels that it floats, but by the number of schools and
churches and useful industries that it keeps in existence.
It will be measured not by the number of men killed, but by
the number of men saved and lifted up.
many leaders have devoted themselves to politics little knowing,
it seems, that economic independence is the foundation of
political independence...we must act in these matters before
others from foreign lands rob us of our birthright... Land
ownership is the foundation of all wealth.
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.
must learn to realize that out of contact with difficulties
we get a strength and confidence which we can secure in no
other manner. The world needs men, be they black or white,
who can rise on successive failures.
person who has grown to any degree of usefulness, every person
who has grown to distinction, almost without exception has
been a person who has risen by overcoming obstacles, by removing
difficulties, by resolving that when he met discouragement
he would not give up.
should not permit our grievances to overshadow our opportunities.
men and women, especially those who are in college, very often
get the idea that religion is fit only for the common people.
No young man or woman can make a greater error than this.
must not be deceived by the mere fact a person can read or
write. Unless he has received that broader training which
enables him to know the object of education, the uses of education;
unless he receives that broader training which will make him
realize that book education is useless without character,
without industry, without the saving habit, without the willingness
to contribute his part toward law and order and the highest
and best in the community, his mere book education will in
many cases mean little or nothing.
we should do in all of our schools is to turn out fewer job
seekers and more job makers. Anyone can seek a job, but it
requires a person of rare ability to create a job.
man who continues to add something to the material, intellectual
and moral well-being of the place in which he lives is long
left without proper award.
should never forget that the ownership and cultivation of
the soil constitutes the foundation of great wealth and usefulness
among our people. A land-less race is like a ship without
persons who live constantly in a fault finding atmosphere,
who see only the dark side of life, become negative characters.
They are the people who never go forward.
measured by the standard of eternal, or even present justice,
that race is greatest that has learned to exhibit the greatest
patience, the greatest self-control, the greatest forbearance,
the greatest interest in the poor, in the unfortunate - that
has been able to live up in a high and pure atmosphere, and
to dwell above hatred and acts of cruelty. He who would become
greatest among us must become the least.
be one with God is to be like God. Our religious striving,
then, should be to become one with God; sharing with Him in
our humble way His qualities and attributes.
life is not worth much of which it cannot be said, when it
comes to its close, that it was helpful to humanity.