I Had No Ancestry

“More than once I have tried to picture myself in the position of a boy or man with an honoured and distinguised ancestry which I could trace back through a period of hundreds of years, and who had not only inherited a name, but fortune and a proud family homestead; and yet I have sometimes had the feeling that if I had inherited these, and had been a member of a more popular race, I should have been inclined to yield to temptation of depending upon my ancestry and my colour to do that for me which I should do for myself. Years ago I resolved that because I had no ancestry myself I would leave a record of which my children would be pround, and which might encourage them to still higher effort.”

Booker T. Washington (1856 – 1915)
Up From Slavery


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