I am currently reading Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington. I am only a couple chapters in, and I already admire this man’s passion and ambition.
Booker was born into slavery and was a young boy when he was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. His poor family moved to West Virginia where he worked in the salt furnaces with his father and brother.
Booker’s community had a strong desire to be educated. There were no free schools, so everyone in the community hired a teacher with the agreement that they would take turns providing for the teacher throughout the month. Teacher Day in the families’ homes was a special occasion where they shared with the teacher their best meals and accommodations. Booker’s father saw more worth in the boy’s working in the furnace. To his dismay, Booker was not allowed to attend school. Longing for an education, Booker and his mother arranged for the teacher to come at night and give lessons.
I am blown away with the strong desire for young Booker to excel in his life. At a young age, he worked hard and dedicated himself to learning. So many obstacles stood in this boy’s way and he grew stronger and worked around them. As I look at my own opportunities, I am continually convicted to use my time wisely, and reach my potential in life despite anything that my stands in my way. Reach high Patriots! With our current life of comfort, imagine what we could learn and become if we strived to work as hard as a school-aged boy!