Page:Boys Life of Booker T. Washington.djvu/100

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BOOKER T. WASHINGTON

say to a Southern audience. He also made it a rule never to say to a negro audience anything that he would not say to a white audience. In this honest and fair way he kept close to the truth, and at the same time never offended fair-minded people of either race.

He was a capital story-teller, but he did not make a practice of telling jokes and funny stories in his speeches, just to make people laugh. He always had a serious purpose in his stories. He had two or three stories that he told frequently, because they were so full of meaning. This was one of them: One day he was going along the road, and he met old Aunt Caroline, with a basket on her head. He said, "Good morning, Aunt Caroline. Where are you going this morning?" And she replied, "Lor' bless yer, Mister Washington, I dun bin where I's er goin." "And so," he would then say, "some of the races of the earth have done been where they was er goin'. But the negro race is not one of them. Its future lies before it."[1]

Another of his stories was about a good old negro who accompanied Washington on one of his tours. At a certain city they found that they had several hours before the train left; so this old man decided to stroll about to see the town. Presently, he looked at his watch and found that

  1. "Booker T. Washington: Builder of a Civilization," by Scott and Stowe, p. 30.