Timeless Treasures
Timeless Treasures
Reflections of God's Word in the Wisdom of Booker T. Washington
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Booker T. Washington spent his entire adult life empowering and uplifting his race. Now, ninety years after his death, two of his great-granddaughters, Gloria Yvonne Jackson and Sarah O’Neal Rush, have come together to pay special tribute to the life that he led, and to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth. This book is a compilation of some of their great-grandfather’s most inspiring quotations, corresponding to and confirming scriptures from their favorite book, the Holy Bible, along with their own personal testimonies and writings. It is their tribute to this extraordinary man.


Page after page delivers wisdom in the form of quotations and scriptures addressing every facet and all walks of life, including character building, race relations, rising above circumstances, the value of education, and business ownership. Be blessed, inspired, and informed as you read on topics addressing the whole person, be it spirit, soul, or body.


It is the strong belief of these two first cousins that the publication of this book was a divine call on their lives for such a time as this, and that each reader will discover the timeliness of the wisdom contained in this volume. By revisiting and highlighting the achievements and the legacy of their great-grandfather, it is their prayer that they are contributing in a positive way toward making a difference in today’s challenging times.




Believing that the quotations of Booker T. Washington, one of the greatest leaders of the Black race in the history of the United States, are as relevant today as they were when they were first spoken, we have lovingly compiled some of our favorite of his cherished quotations.


Not many have heard the story of how the young slave boy Booker became Booker “T.” Washington. The T stands for Taliaferro, a name his mother had given him at his birth and a name some say might indicate the identity of his biological father.


“Washington” was merely a name that young Booker uttered at the first school he attended. It was the first name of his stepfather, Washington Ferguson, which is perhaps the reason this name came to his mind as the roll was being called one morning. He realized that most of the students answered to two names and he had only one. When he was called upon he simply added Washington and answered Booker Washington; thus, Washington became his last name.


As two of the great-granddaughters of Booker T. Washington, we have our own version of the significance of the T in his name. We affectionately like to say that the T actually stands for the Timeless Treasures hidden in the wisdom of our great grandfather’s words; hence, the title of our book.


But for a change to account for the vernacular of the day (i.e., Negro or colored to African-American or black), the liberating wisdom of Booker T. Washington’s words is as relevant and necessary today as it was in his lifetime. We feel we would be remiss if we did not add that the wisdom that he proclaimed is not only relevant to the black American race, but it is also relevant to any race or nationality whose goal is to strive to achieve excellence in every area of life.


Knowing that our great-grandfather relied upon his deep and abiding faith and trust in God to guide him, we have included, besides his words, some of our favorite scriptures from “The Word,” the Bible.


The evidence of God in the life of this great and noble man was striking. Though he was born into a system of chattel slavery, in his brief lifetime of only fifty-nine years he rose to become one of the most captivating orators and spokespersons of his time and the leader of over ten million of his race. He was the consummate statesman and diplomat, a famous educator, and the founder and builder of Tuskegee Institute and the National Negro Business League. He was also a builder of men and of women.



Booker T. Washington was an advisor to presidents McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft; was received by the king of Denmark; and enjoyed tea with the queen of England at Buckingham Palace. He was the first black American to be commemorated on United States coins and postage stamps, and to have a U.S. Navy vessel named in his honor. He was the first black American to have his birthplace declared a national monument.


Tuskegee and the National Negro Business League became training grounds for free-market access. Entrepreneurial skills were refined and multitudes of trained blacks started thriving businesses. These businesses provided jobs and became the backdrop of flourishing communities that served as anchors for our race as we pushed forward toward economic self-sufficiency.


While most people in the United States were paying scant attention to the problems and concerns of blacks in other parts of the world, Booker T. Washington lifted his voice and used his considerable influence on their behalf as well. In 1913, amid all of his other responsibilities, he became the first black American to convene an international conference at Tuskegee Institute to address these concerns.


Against the backdrop of his enormous public undertakings, it must also be remembered that he was a loving, devoted, and cherished husband and father. He was also a best-selling author. His inspiring autobiography, Up From Slavery, the most renowned of the many books he wrote, has never been out of print. It has been translated into over seventeen languages, and it has been an inspiration to people throughout the world. Though many, these achievements are but a brief synopsis of the manifold accomplishments and honors of this extraordinary man.


It could only have been God guiding Booker T. Washington and governing his life. Even after experiencing the harsh realities of slavery, and later watching as the hope embodied in the Reconstruction period was dismantled, he still possessed the strength of character to utter the words, “I will let no man drag me down so low as to make me hate him.” He refused even to hate his former slave master, choosing instead to spend his time and energy living by the principles of the Word of God, lifting people up and appealing to what was best in them. This principled man spent his life lighting candles in the lives of others, rather than wasting his life cursing the darkness.



Gloria Yvonne Jackson, J.D., is an attorney and a real estate broker. She is also the founder and president of the Booker T. Washington Inspirational Network, Inc., (B.T.W.I.N)—“Building to Win.” The network was organized to challenge and inspire individuals to strive to live by the powerful values based ideals set forth by Booker T. Washington. Whether it is through public speaking or writing, Gloria’s aim is to inspire others to use the full arsenal of their God-given gifts and talents to build productive lives of which they can be proud. She is an engaging and riveting speaker on the life and the legacy of her famous great-grandfather and the ideals that his life represents. One cannot help but be inspired as she recounts the narrative of Booker T. Washington’s rise from slavery to freedom. As Gloria speaks on her great-grandfather’s understanding of freedom, true leadership, and faith, as well as on his understanding and demonstration of ownership principles and economic development as a preeminent necessity for a developing group, one is struck by the extraordinary wisdom Booker T. Washington possessed during his lifetime.


A resident of Los Angeles, California, Ms. Jackson has been blessed to be featured in film, television, and print media, addressing the topic of her great-grandfather and his powerful philosophy. Her recent address on her great-grandfather at the Heritage Foundation was so highly regarded that it was selected to be included as part of the foundation’s formal lecture series. For more information on Booker T. Washington Inspirational Network, Inc., please visit the organizational Web site at http://www.booker-t-washington.com.


Sarah O’Neal Rush, M.A., is the founder of Booker T. Washington Empowerment Network, Inc. (B.T.W.E.N.). Through her network, Sarah is privileged and honored to carry on work of which she believes her great-grandfather would be proud. Overcoming tremendous obstacles herself enroute to personal fulfillment, achievement, and success, Sarah possesses a particular passion for assisting to break the downward spiral of those caught up in the generational cycle of self-destructive behavior. Through her empowerment network, she reaches out to assist those individuals who are struggling in their own effort to lift themselves. Sarah is a powerful public speaker on the subject of Booker T. Washington and his philosophy, and she is particularly compelling when she speaks on the topics of rising above circumstances, self-improvement, and other mental health issues. She is a featured writer, a publisher of empowerment materials, and she has appeared in print and television media highlighting the achievements of her esteemed great-grandfather.


Sarah holds a master’s degree in professional psychology and she currently works as a clinical counselor and personal life coach. To learn more about B.T.W.E.N., please visit the organization’s Web site at http://www.bookertwashington.net. Sarah currently resides in Northern California with her husband, Anthony W. Rush, and their daughter, Iesha Rush. Her son, Mario, daughter, Regarah, and granddaughter, Amari, also live nearby.


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