Booker T. Washington, undated. PR-084, Pach Brothers portrait photograph collection, New-York Historical Society.

AHMC of the Month: “The strongest and happiest men and women…”

This post was written by Matthew Murphy, Head of Cataloging and Metadata.

In honor of Black History Month, the American Historical Manuscript Collection staff would like to share an item that really resonated with us. It is a note, signed by Booker T. Washington, and dated November 15, 1906. In the note, Washington states “The strongest and happiest men and women are those whose usefulness extends to all people regardless of race or color.” This statement really stood out to us, in that it means just as much today as it did in 1906.

Booker T. Washington note, 15 November 1906. MS2958, Booker T. Washington collection. New-York Historical Society.
Booker T. Washington note, 15 November 1906. MS2958., Booker T. Washington collection. New-York Historical Society.

Washington was born into slavery in 1856 and spent his life fighting for the education rights of African-Americans and against the disenfranchisement of the Jim Crow era.

Booker T. Washington,  undated. PR-084, Pach Brothers portrait photograph collection, New-York Historical Society.
Booker T. Washington, undated. PR-084, Pach Brothers portrait photograph collection, New-York Historical Society.

 


Cataloging of the American Historical Manuscript Collection (AHMC), a group of 12,000 small and unique manuscript collections, is made possible by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Peck Stacpoole Foundation, and the Pine Tree Foundation of New York. 

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