Feb 06, 2017

On Black History Month

A journalist once referred to Leontyne Price as, "perhaps the greatest black opera singer of all time." To which, she replied, "What's black got to do with it?"


She defined herself by fierce dedication, discipline, training and hard work--in a word, character--not color.

Yet, editors across the country today are likely rummaging through archives to recycle columns to commemorate just a few great Americans during Black History Month.

Expect to see columns on say, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., and my favorite, Booker T. Washington.

But why commemorate these Americans during just one month out of twelve? ... because of their complexions?

Over one hundred years ago, Dr. Booker T. Washington said,
      "In the sight of God there is no color line,
      and we want to cultivate a spirit
      that will make us forget that there is such a line anyway.


Dr. King echoed those very words words sixty years later when he spoke of his dream that little children would live in a nation judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Isn't that how it should be? By how we live, not how we look?

I say, let us celebrate character more, regardless of color.

When it comes to character, Booker T. wrote the book. Literally. His book, "Character Building" is a compilation of talks he gave to students on Sunday evenings at Tuskegee.

He championed individual character, personal responsibility and economic independence. As a practical visionary, he saw that acquiring these values were critical first steps towards developing an American culture of equality in the hearts and minds of all Americans.

His life and legacy continues to inspire and motivate.

Now that you've read this far, I implore you to read and download as many of his books, speeches and articles that we've been able to place on our website -- all free -- here.

And pass them on! Others need to know!

Finally, please support us. There is a young American out there today who may solve some of our greatest future problems, if only he or she is exposed to solid character-building inspiration and encouragement during his/her most formative years.

This is what we do! So, please donate online here..

Thank you.
Ronald Court, President & Founder

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 Mar 26, 2015

Starbucks on Race

Despite the criticism Starbucks has received, it might be on to something for reminding us we are all members of one race: the HUMAN race.

Let us not let others divide us, one from another, on the basis of what we look like.

Yes, let us appreciate all the wonderfully 'diversified' tones, talents, and textures that comprise humanity.

But let us celebrate our common aspirations and uplifting spirit inherent in a national motto, "E Pluribus Unum" ("One From Many").

"In the eyes of God, there is no color line, and we want to cultivate a spirit where we forget there's a color line anyway" Booker T. Washington.

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 Feb 13, 2015

'Free Will' or 'Dog Eat Dog'?

Did you know that Abe Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on the exact same day? Feb 12, 1809!
My good friend, Bill Federer, wrote about it yesterday.
It's a great read: here. I highly recommend that you join his very informative website, American Minute.

Lincoln's and Darwin's view of the 'human condition' could not be more different:

Lincoln acted on a belief that 'all men are created equal.'
Darwin theorized that people are not created equal.

So, what do you think?
Which view offers more hope for humanity?

Ronald Court, President

See what Booker T. said about The Two Sides of Life

p.s. I write from Montgomery Alabama, one of my several stops during my 13 week "Spring Odyssey" throughout the South and Mid-West.

You can view my schedule here, as I speak about the country to build interest in forming local Booker T. Club affiliates for middle schoolers.

If I'm anywhere near you, do plan to visit or meet me!
I'd love to see you.

Just as others in my life helped me early on, perhaps you can recall others who helped you see your potential.

Let's pass that vision on. Let's inspire and equip others with the positive mind-set and self-motivation so that they too, will be able to fulfill their potential.
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 Jan 26, 2015

A Cryin’ Shame

When I read that 40 students from Baltimore’s Booker T. Washington Middle School were brought to hear Louis Farrakhan at Morgan State, I immediately wrote and phoned the office of Principal Debbie Thomas.

I offered to travel from Vermont at my own expense to speak about the inspiring life and legacy of their own school’s namesake, Booker T. Washington. However, even several follow-up phone calls went unanswered.

Apparently, it's acceptable for her 'Culture & Climate Coordinator' Anthony Pena, to take students to hear Mr. Farrakhan claim that peaceful protests are only in the interest of "white folks" while speaking of an Islamic "law for retaliation," but not to hear the inspiring, uplifting words of Dr. Washington.

The angry, alienating language of Farrakhan is exactly opposite what kids in her charge need to hear.

Mr. Farrakhan's talk was nothing new. Booker T. Washington knew men like him over a century ago: "There is a class of race problem solvers who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public ...some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances because they do not want to lose their jobs...(they) don't want the patient to get well."

It's a cryin’ shame the Principal of one of the lowest rated schools in Baltimore (greatschools.com) would pass on this opportunity to give her students a little inspiring hope along with some positive Black history.

Certainly, Baltimore -- a city that welcomed a young black man who had a troubled youth and saw him rise to the pinnacle of his profession as a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns-Hopkins -- is better than that.
Ronald Court, President

See what Booker T. said about Influencing by Example

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 Sep 26,2013

On the Road Again

    I leave soon for a fifteen-state swing down the East Coast to Florida, over to Louisiana, then up through Tennessee and Kentucky until I finally return home, hopefully in a month.

    It all started when I received a call last month from Rev. Paul Benjamin, from Sanford, FL, inviting me to join him in a 'Youth Entrepreneurship Summit' on Monday, Sep. 24. Rev. Benjamin directs the Central Florida Dream Center and is a driving force behind the Love Sanford Project, organized to help the community heal after the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman tragedy that occurred there seven months ago. Here's the video Love Sanford Project press announcement. (skip the commercial; that's not in our control.)

    We're thrilled that Rev. Benjamin sought us out to partner with him in introducing the Booker T. Way to Sanford youths. His Central Florida Dream Center looks to be an ideal venue for a Booker T. Club.

    The James Madison Institute (JMI), in Tallahasee, Florida, has been in touch with us regarding our public speaking 'niche' for the Society's high school Student Chapters. It has graciously offered to provide us with intern help to contact and coordination the establishment of Clubs and chapters throughout the Florida panhandle. So, we're looking forward to visiting with JMI, Thur Sep 27.

    After all, public speaking is an essential skill no matter what path you choose in life. But even Booker T. knew how scary it can seem at first:

"I always suffer intensely from nervousness before speaking. More than once, just before I was to make an important address, this nervous strain has been so great that I have resolved never again to speak in public."

    Yet, in pressing on, he gained confidence and respect. He even devoted an entire chapter to the topic in his autobiography, Up From Slavery.

    Next stop: New Orleans. We've had several requests amounting to hundreds more Booker T. Washington - American Hero booklets from there. I'm looking forward to seeing how we can help local, interested people start Booker T. Clubs and Chapters in New Orleans, in particular to coincide with the grand re-opening of its once (and again) venerable Booker T. Washington High School in Fall, 2014.

    Finally, Shreveport, LA. The Shreveport River Bend Rotary Club donated funds to help kick-start a local Booker T. Club, and with the help of other committed individuals, we're looking to field two clubs there in the near future: one each at a charter and a public middle school.

And Did You Know. . .?

    So, lots of promising things happening on the "demand" side. But we are really struggling on the "supply" side.

    Travel just keeps getting more costly no matter what I do to keep costs down (I sleep in the van and freeload off friends along the way). There's just no way around it. At this early stage, face-to-face meetings are absolutely essential.

    Playwrights may call them 'angel investors.'
    Start-up businesses call it, 'venture capital.'
    But we need, "culture capital".

    That is, large and small angels willing to invest, inspire, and build a culture of character among our next generation. It really is up to us.

    Would you call yourself a culture capitalist? If so, please help me get these early clubs up and running. Call me: 802-922-2503 (my direct cell). I'll answer any questions you have.

Ronald Court, President

Words of Wisdom

"America will never be destroyed
from the outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed ourselves"

~ Abraham Lincoln

"You cannot build character and courage
by taking away a man's initiative and independence."

~ Abraham Lincoln

But Then...

"A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, - a mere heart of stone."
~ Charles Darwin

"To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact."
~ Charles Darwin

More Wisdom...

"There is so much potential out there in young people and they aren't getting the right information or being encouraged in the right ways.
This is our duty as a society."

~ Dr. Ben Carson

"Character is revealed through action."
~ Aristotle

"Every one's life is measured by the power that the individual has to make the world better."
~ Booker T. Washington

"If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself."
~ Dwight L. Moody

"No man, who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives, is left long without proper reward."
~ Booker T. Washington

"There is a destiny which makes us brothers;
None goes his way alone.
All that we send into the lives of others, comes back into our own."

~ Edwin Markham

"It is in giving that we receive."
~ Francis of Assisi

"Dig the well before you are thirsty."
~ Chinese Proverb

Archived News
Aug 24, 2012
Jul 31, 2012
Jun 14, 2012
May 28, 2012

The Booker T. Washington Society Inc. is 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan, and educational.
The BTW Society does not solicit or accept government funding.
Donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.