By Rev. Dr. Adam Clayton Powell Sr.
From his Autobiography: "Against the Tide"
At the Atlanta Cotton States Exposition, on September 18, 1895, the featured speaker was Professor Booker T. Washington, founder and builder of Tuskegee Institute. And among the notable attendees were Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. (builder and founder of Abyssinian Baptist church) and Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden (consul to the Republic of Liberia who stated that Tuskegee Institute was a monument to what the Black Man can do for himself).
"I went to Atlanta because I wanted to see how far the White South had recovered from the physical destruction wrought by the march of Sherman's army and from the bad feeling created by the political rule of the carpet-baggers, and I especially wanted to see how far the Black South had gotten from the slavery and ignorance in the thirty years. Dr. Booker T. Washington's hand-and-finger-cast-down-your-bucket-where-you-are speech is the best yard stick by which to me assure the progress of both races up to that time.
Every sensible colored man and every benevolent White man left Atlanta with the resolution to rededicate his life to the removal of these handcuffs (speaking of the chains "broken but not off").
In preparation for the building of the new Abyssinian Baptist Church, in New York City, we combed New York for two weeks and found three colored masons and two hod carriers. Two of the masons and both helpers left after working a week and at the end of two weeks the third mason went south to bury his mother-in-law and he did not return until the church walls were completed. Plenty of colored men stood around to critique us for the way we were building the church, but only two could be found who helped us build it from start to finish.