Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Liberty Quote Of The Day: Booker T. Washington

As we sit watching the great freedom that our forefathers granted to us melting at the hands of huge oppressive government, an administration that believes it is all knowing, sovereign debt loads spiraling upward, and a Federal Reserve that has manipulated price signals to disasterous outcomes, it is pleasant to think back on what it must have been like to have the chains of slavery fall to your feet and to take your first few free steps.

Booker T. Washington reflects back on that moment - when the Emancipation Proclamation was first read to him. While we're not big fans of Abe Lincoln in many ways, obviously ending slavery was a true moral good.
"As the great day drew nearer, there was more singing in the slave quarters than usual. It was bolder, had more ring, and lasted later into the night. Most of the verses of the plantation songs had some reference to freedom.... Some man who seemed to be a stranger (a United States officer, I presume) made a little speech and then read a rather long paper—the Emancipation Proclamation, I think. After the reading we were told that we were all free, and could go when and where we pleased. My mother, who was standing by my side, leaned over and kissed her children, while tears of joy ran down her cheeks. She explained to us what it all meant, that this was the day for which she had been so long praying, but fearing that she would never live to see."
- Booker T. Washington - Up From Slavery: An Autobiography