Booker T. Washington: Governor

“I saw coloured men who were members of the state legislatures, and county officers, who, in some cases, could not read or write, and whose morals were as weak as their education. Not long ago, when passing through the streets of a certain city in the South, I heard some brick–masons calling out, from the top of a two–story brick building on which they were working, for the “Governor” to “hurry up and bring up some more bricks.” Several times I heard the command, “Hurry up, Governor!” “Hurry up, Governor!” My curiosity was aroused to such an extent that I made inquiry as to who the “Governor” was, and soon found that he was a coloured man who at one time had held the position of Lieutenant–Governor of his state.”

— Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery (1901), Ch. 5: The Reconstruction Period.

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