The Standard of Greatness

THE following story is told of Booker T. Washington by a late writer in The Outlook:—

"An old negro named Rufus Herron, deeply impressed with Washington's teachings about education and the attitude the colored race should take toward the white, found himself two years ago with a surplus of ten dollars in cash after paying all debts and expenses. He had never had any schooling himself, but fully realized its value; so he placed the money in Washington's hands with the request that it be used to defray a part of the cost of some colored child's education. The next year he found himself again ten dollars to the good; and this money he carried promptly to the teacher of a school for poor white children, and asked him to spend it on one of them. These facts reached Washington's ears, and the next time Herron came to Tuskeegee he was invited to sit on the platform during the evening chapel service of the school. After the regular exercises Washington told Herron's story to the pupils in a few simple sentences. At its close he paused, and for a moment absolute silence reigned through the hall. Then slowly, in a low voice, but with an inflection which sent a thrill through every listener, he condensed a whole sermon into these eight short words: 'It takes a big man to do that.' "

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July 24, 1902
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