Farah is always faced to hardships but she always shows her strength by overcoming them. Your struggles develop your strengths. When Farah was walking up to school she decided to take a shortcut she accidentally walked on a land mine and lost her leg. This obstacle changed her life completely and still Farah handled the pain and got over this obstacle, even though it haunts her every night. Another example is when she lost her family at a young age. She found herself alone with her mother. Even though she faced this hard and painful obstacle Farah is still here competing in the battle against life.
All in all life is short so enjoy it, overcome struggles and face fears. Rita Jillabi Friday, February 20, Going to school is a coming of age, when Farah was six she started going to school and that filled her heart with joy. For some people going to school is not that important , but these people have to realize that life is not that easy for everyone and that they have a great opportunity that not everyone has. In life when there is an opportunity one has to take advantage of it.
Farah described the classrooms in Afghanistan and compared them to the ones in America. The classes were segregated unlike the classes in the U. In seventh grade or sixth grade you go that long to school, but Farah was not sure about that because she went to school only until fifth grade.
An Autobiography, vol. 1 - Online Library of Liberty
If she wanted to finish school she would have to move alone further from her home town. In Afghanistan they played various games just like kids all over the world , except that they played classic games, they did not have the opportunity to have computers nor iphones. Two girls would hold hands and spin around and around until they got dizzy and then tried to walk.
Never did boys and girls play together. The girls sat on benches during recess and told stories, boys them played soccer and other sports. Each girl brought their piece of bread for recess and it actually had such a flavor because they were so hungry. All in all school in Afghanistan was harsh compared to American schools, this is why all the people that have the opportunity to have a clean shelter with food, and go to a school that is supportive and full of supplies for you to be a better learner should be very thankfull and take advantage of what they have.
On that fateful morning Farah woke up the sun in her eyes. Now in Kabul it is always sunny, In Afghanistan kids did go to school on the summer. That morning Farah was late to school, she usually wakes up before the sun rose but for one reason that day everyone in the house has overslept. Class has already started and Farah did not want to miss her teachers precious story telling.
In Kabul a school girl wears a black dress with white stockings and a white headscarf. That day Farah did not have the time to comb her long hair,wash her face nor to wear her uniform so she put on a traditional clothing and ran out the door. I think most people knew to stay out of this particular field. This quote was foreshadowing because it warns the reader that something bad might happen. When a children disobeys to the rules there is always a punishment attached to it.
After taking that shortcut Farah on her way to school stept on a landmine. Those horrified people were standing over me arguing. Was it too late? Was I dead? Should they lift me up? How should they do this? In these last chapters the theme developed has been overcoming struggles. Farah lost her leg in a landmine and this event majorly affected her daily life. Farah might not be the luckiest girl in the world but she has her mom that is constantly protecting her and is helping her move further in her life.
For example when Farah lost her dad and siblings her mom was very supportive. At the beginning of the first chapter Farah was dreaming of her mom dying and she could not bare losing someone that she loves again. This relates to the theme overcoming struggles because when Farah was at her lowest her mom helped her out and is a key element of Farrah's success and motivation.
To conclude Farrah's mom is a very important character in this story that motivated Farah a lot. Farah is a brave Afghan girl that has overcome her struggles and has various achievements. Farah was born in Kabul near the end of the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Farah steps on a landmine during second grade while taking a shortcut through a field to school because she was late. Farah was transferred to Germany, where her leg was amputated and she received a prosthetic leg. After passing a few months in Germany, Farah returned to her hometown Kabul, Afghanistan.
After Farah gets the prosthetic leg, the Taliban invades Kabul. While Farah and her mother are at the supermarket shopping for fabrics a rocket hits their house and her father and sisters die. Her brothers, then fled the country after their fathers death.
Bombs make it impossible for people to leave their houses or even go to school. Farah and her mother as well decided to flee the country so that they could feel safer. Once arrived in Pakistan they started to work for a family for less than fifteen dollars. They soon run out of money and they have to go to the united states refugee camp.
All in all this is a summary of the last chapters that have been covered. The background and the plot overview of the story The Other Side of the Sky are very unique. The war in Afghanistan and Pakistan first began around December The Soviet army invaded Afghanistan in an attempt to spread communism. In , the Taliban took over Kabul and began enforcing their strict Islamic views which meant banning women from work and introducing Islamic punishments.
Farah is hero because she had all sorts of conflicts surrounding her and still overcame all of them. Farah to this day is still fighting for her rights. She has grown as a person throughout the book, she learned to manage difficulties and by overcoming her struggles she became a better person.
At the beginning of the book the author informed the reader about how she had the idea to write this book. Her friend told her that she was a hero and that she should share her accomplishments with everyone. However, the young protagonist did not know what to write due to the fact that she had achieved nothing, but just the fact that Farah survived through all this pain and suffering makes her special and is a great achievement..
This quotes shows that only the fact that Farah survived is an accomplishment. Thus , in life there are ups and downs and the strongest ones are the ones that are able to support both. Determination and Sacrifice are two words that play major roles in Farah's life. Farah did not grow up really wealthy so she had to sacrifice numerous times for her family. She has always been determined to learn new things and explore the world, she was determined to reach her goals and be in a safe house with some food and her mom. Farah did achieve her goals and with alot of determination.
This quote relates to the theme overcoming struggles because determination is the key to success and overcoming struggles. To conclude determination and sacrifice are what makes Farah exceed and overcome her struggles. Mar 23, Baljit rated it it was ok. But the writing style is v much that of a young adult and the language of a new learner of English. Feb 15, Jacklyn rated it liked it.
Stories of self-proclaimed nobility and fulfilling destinies are manipulated and twisted into some of the most popular fiction thrillers today. However, in the action-packed, fervent pages, it lacks sincerity and raw, real-life experiences that exert emotion that can be linked to the present world. The book itself is a recollection of personal, life-impacting memories. This give Stories of self-proclaimed nobility and fulfilling destinies are manipulated and twisted into some of the most popular fiction thrillers today.
This gives an alluring connection and is a refreshing change from cliche, mawkish teenage fiction. Farah Ahmedi was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, at the height of the war between the mujahideen and the Soviets. As a child, she is accustomed to the squeal of rockets and bustling of people scrummaging for jobs and shelter. Her early childhood is nothing but naive innocence and wonder of the world, as for it is all her and her family know or have been forced to adjust to.
Unfortunately, she becomes a victim of the waging war. When she steps on a landmine on the way to school, her life takes an abrupt turn, leaving her crippled and stripped of her family. At the young age of seven, she is transported to Germany to be treated for her wound; she never fully recovered. The traumatizing incident haunts Farah and is mockingly symbolic for the events that follow. The war that she went through was not as easy as loud noises on the streets. Farah and her mother, two women, now alone, in a new society that targeted them. Unforeseen acts of humanity and righteous in strangers lead them to be free from crooked hands and is the action that drives the adventure to their refuge in America.
America is a different planet, as the vile people Farah and her mother work for tell them. When they are accepted into the World Relief program, they really do arrive on a different planet. Customs are different, language, and the race barrier makes it exceptionally difficult for Farah and her ill mother to adapt.
This factor reprimands the truly inspiring deeds of self-preservation and is a draw-back from a full experience of the sacrifices that had to be made. Although her writing style is somewhat vague and nondescript, her story leaves a riveting message and a remarkable feeling of glory. Heartache, suffering, and misery were like snakes constricting her future.
However, from pain, flourished hope, revelations of the power of God, and strength, the thing that pulled Farah from the pits of despair into love and appreciation. Feb 06, Yasmine Tajmouati rated it liked it. This novel recounts her life and how she was able to survive tragedies. In the beginning, Farah already spoke about her happy ending, which tells the reader that everything is going to be all right. Previously, Farah ad her family, which included of 4 siblings, a father and a mother, lived in Kabul.
However, things finished badly as her siblings and father all died and the only family Farah has left is he mother. By that, one can see that Farah is a survivor and brave young women as she experienced very rough events at a very young age. Farah had a normal childhood. Though everything changed one day. She woke up late to school, and so decided to take a shortcut. As she was walking down the path, she stepped on a landmine used for the warfare in Afghanistan that trapped her into a harsh explosion.
As a result, she lost her foot and had other physical problems though she managed to survive. After being able to manage her disability, other tragedies happen in the course of her life, but details are still left unknown to the reader. Farah was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. So far, the characters in this novel are not completely developed yet. Few characters have been mentioned, but some are distinguishable by their actions. Alyce is the only and best friend of Farah, the protagonist. She is always there for her and is trustworthy toward Farah.
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At least she had Alyce who looks like she is a very good friend. Her mother always took care of her and tried her best to make her daughter happy. One theme that can be applied to this novel is overcoming struggles. I wanted to be whole again. Farah was a brave girl and even though she thought that her dreams would ever come true after her accident, she never really truly gave up. From this book, a lot of life lessons can be learned. For example, even when someone might think that things are going completely wrong and desperate, it might just actually turn out to be the start of something good.
As one can see, Farah sounds to be very inspirational and caring too. Feb 27, Amy Nance rated it liked it. This was an interesting look into the life of an Afghan girl and the ordeals that are faced in that country. Farah's life was one of extreme turmoil but she has great courage. Zhivago—that serve to entertain and educate us about a particular time in history. However, sometimes the value of a war epic is not in its ability to entertain or its historical accuracy. Born in Kabul during the war between the Mujahedeen and the Soviet Union, Farah grows up accustomed to the sounds of gunfire and fighter planes.
She attends a school with limited resources: no books, more students than seats and frequent school cancellations due to rockets and bombings; nonetheless, she is a spirited girl with a passion for learning. One day, seven-year-old Farah steps on a landmine in a rush to get to school on time, and only then does the warfare and international relations of her home country become all too real to her.
In addition to the loss of her leg, Farah eventually suffers the loss of most of her immediate family, until she is left with only her mother to travel with as a refugee throughout Pakistan. The two endure harsh conditions in refugee camps, as well as the trials of slave labor, until they are rescued by World Relief and moved to Chicago, where they begin their lives anew.
Farah is a pleasant and perceptive narrator, able to objectively analyze the differences between the Afghan and American cultures. Her adjustment to life in the United States is poignantly portrayed, as she struggles to come to terms with her past and outright refuses special treatment for her having a prosthetic leg. Her strength of will in the face of unimaginable obstacles drives the narrative and inspires readers to wish her well throughout her journey.
Her story of survival and perseverance serves as an inspirational coming-of-age portrait of a girl of indomitable spirit and endurance. Needless to say, her book is highly recommended. Apr 21, Ashley rated it it was amazing Shelves: nonfiction , chapter-books. This book is definitely one of my favorite books I have read throughout the course of the semester and provided me with a new perspective on issues brought up in this book.
As a future teacher, I found this book to be very relevant because with the increase of diverse students that will be in my future classrooms, it's essential to be aware of the struggles that ELL students face when adapt The Story of my Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky is a very emotional and compelling book. As a future teacher, I found this book to be very relevant because with the increase of diverse students that will be in my future classrooms, it's essential to be aware of the struggles that ELL students face when adapting to a new language and culture. I also think that as a teacher, I would require all of my middle school or high school aged students to read this book because I think it would provide them with a better understanding of classmates or people in general that immigrated from another country to The United States.
I think that this book would lead to more empathy in society and also bring the ignorance and intolerance that some people have towards foreigners in this country to an end, resulting in a more peaceful and accepting society. I really enjoyed how this book was an easy read which would be of interest to a lot of readers. I also think that the way the book was formatted in a sequential way as opposed to jumping around in time added to this component of it being an easy read and added to the overall quality of the book.
The biggest positive trait about this book however is its ability to evoke emotional responses out of the reader because of it being based upon a true story. The plot of the book is very engrossing and since the story is told by Farah herself, her voice authentically shines through. This makes the book so much more relatable in comparison to reading a textbook about the war going on in Afghanistan and still educates the reader on the war and what goes on in other countries through using heavy themes such as war, loss, struggles, family, friends, and adapting to change.
I really have no negative criticism towards this book because I consider it to be one of my favorite overall books and a life changing read. Farah, an Afghanistan refugee, tells the long, difficult journey from growing up in her homeland to going through traumatic events and relocation during the Afghanistan war.
Early on Farah has life changing events impact her life but doesn't let it get in her way of a better life for her and her mother. Farah travels with her mother, little money and no education but is still determined to preserve through it all. I really liked this book because it was very inspiring how someone with no physical power or education can change their life for the better and overcome the impossible. From an extremely early age Farah was forced to support herself and her mother through countless struggles but always found a way to make things work.
Another reason I liked this book is because the circumstances Farah overcame gave light to the struggles Afghanistan refugees faced when the Taliban first took over. It can describe our education or the steps we take in climbing the corporate ladder. Life often consists of hierarchies. This metaphor also illustrates that it often takes hard work, determination, and sometimes sheer endurance to get where we wish to go. Most mountains paths are not directly uphill, but take us down through valleys to get to the next peak.
Emotional resilience allows you to follow the trail as it descends before it turns the corner and heads back up again. A race can be both a positive and negative metaphor for life. In the biblical sense of the metaphor, we are called to run the face of life not only for the prize. A race can also be a negative metaphor as in the "rat race" of our life, describing how sometimes we are so busy going from one place to another that we never really stop to enjoy any particular moment.
In yet another negative sense, a race can describe the practice of always finding the fastest route, or needing to keep up with the proverbial Joneses. If you view life as a courtroom, life can be challenging. In a courtroom, everything in life should be fair. Real life, however, is not always fair. Good people die young and criminals go free. If you try to constrain your life to the metaphor of a courtroom you open yourself up for repeated disappointment. Stepping stones can be a metaphor for life in many ways. In a negative sense, stepping stones may describe the phenomena in which we barely get comfortable where we are before we are looking for a better job or a bigger house.
In another sense, stepping stones can be a very positive metaphor of a life lived with goals in mind , and conscious awareness of the steps needed to get there. In yet another sense, such as those stepping stones crossing a stream in a Japanese garden, they can describe how we sometimes take a detour right or left along our way to prevent negative influences from catching up with us.
Life is a classroom in so many ways and there are always new lessons to learn no matter your age. This metaphor can be a reminder to keep your mind active and learning throughout your life. A prison can be a metaphor for a life in which you feel out of control. You may feel like you don't have choices and that others have the power. If this is you, it might be helpful to visualize a key to the door by which you can escape to your freedom, and what that might mean in real life. Learning to reframe a situation such as this can shift your perspective and change everything. A battery can be a life metaphor of being drained and recharged through life, such as the daily drain of energy related to work, followed by weekends and evenings in which to recharge.
Often taking small periods of time to recharge at frequent intervals leaves your battery less likely to die lose all energy. We don't have specific studies looking at commonly held life metaphors and wellness, but we do know that positive thinking is beneficial in many ways. A general attitude of optimism has been correlated with lower rates of cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and infection. The examples above are just a few of the life metaphors that illustrate people's lives.
What metaphor s fit your life? Do they work for you or do they cause problems and limit your choices? It's possible to change metaphors or modify yours such as adding the key to the prison cell, but it can take some effort. Taking the time to think about the metaphors which fit your life can be used to find patterns that aren't working well for you, to motivate you in positive directions, and to help you cope with the obstacles we all periodically face. Think of your life metaphors today, but don't stop there. Periodically re-think your life metaphors. Are they positive metaphors which bring you peace and contentment, help you reach goals , or allow you to see the beauty around you?
Or are they negative metaphors which are limiting your life? I told him the clerk told me to come and see him. After I informed him who I was and told him my profession, his appearance changed, and he kindly consented for us to remain until the arrival of the train. His wife would hardly speak to the teacher during her stay; but her Page 71 little daughter stayed around her and tried to make it pleasant for her.
The proprietor's wife saw that the little girl was interested very much in the teacher, and she, too, tried to make it agreeable for her. After we had taken dinner, we bade them good-bye. The people received me very cordially indeed. They said that the cause was a worthy one and deserved the consideration of every one that was able to respond.
They seemed to give very freely, but the amounts were so small that it did not do very much good. I studied over the matter with special interest. I said, if I depend on what I received I shall never accomplish my purpose. I worked all day and lectured at night, hardly taking time to eat a meal. I would take lunches with me and eat a square meal at night. I began to realize that the amounts that I was receiving in the United States never would build an institution in the nineteenth century. I made up my mind, by Gods help, I would sail for Europe.
I went across the Atlantic Ocean and landed at Liverpool. I did not remain in Liverpool very long. I went from Liverpool to London. I made the city of London my Page 72 headquarters. I was in the midst of strangers, no one to speak a word to encourage me. I saw a policeman and asked him to give me some information as to what hotel I could stop at.
He did so. I asked him about several churches. He kindly located many of the churches for me. I went to a store and got a little book that contained the names of all the streets; then I commenced to walk up and down the streets and located the magnificent buildings that London has. I reached there on Saturday, and as I was walking up one of the streets I met a quiet looking gentleman. He asked me if I was not a stranger. I told him I was. He asked me where I was from.
After talking with him, I found that he was pastor of one of the largest churches in the city. He asked me if I was a minister of the gospel. I told him that I was. Then he invited me to his church, and asked me to be present at eleven o'clock. I was at the church at ten-forty o'clock. The Superintendent of the Sunday School met me at the door and ushered me in. He told me that the pastor of the church said that I would be present and speak for them at eleven o'clock.
The pastor soon arrived. He received me very cordially. I preached at eleven o'clock. Page 72a. Before I began I told them of my mission, which they received very kindly and said it was a most laudable cause, and was worthy of support. We had a very large congregation. They took up a very good collection for me. After services were over, we went into his study and had a very lengthy conversation. I told him of my work from its beginning.
I thanked him very kindly for his kindness and liberality. His words were so inspiring and full of encouragement that they made my heart leap for joy. I realized the fact that I was in a great city, with millions of people, and yet no one to speak to only as I could make myself known. The distinguished divine told me in our conversation that I should have his prayers during my stay in the city, and anything that he could assist me in he would. I told him that it had been said in America, because a colored man's face was dark, God did not intend for him to accomplish anything, where thousands of dollars were involved, and that my purpose was to see if it was true.
That the question had been so often raised that God did not intend for a colored man to succeed in anything that required extraordinary ability, I made up my mind that I would start an enterprise that would require thousands of Page 74 dollars, and all the energy and push possible. In starting to establish the enterprise I had done so with all the ingenuity and skill I possessed, and had tried to manage the business in a discreet manner and be prudent in all of my actions.
I also determined to practice all economy, and I believed from the beginning, when I shall have faithfully discharged all of these duties, and then make a failure, I would lose all faith in our great Creator. The distinguished Divine suggested that we kneel down and pray. He prayed that God would strengthen me in my efforts.
He said he was satisfied that God would properly settle the matter, because he felt sure God had no respect of persons. After praying together, my friend suggested that I go to see Mr. Spurgeon and tell him what I was doing. I did so, and while in London made a talk to his people.
I spoke in quite a number of churches and lectured in many of the halls in that great city. Some of the wealthy people heard me speak and tell what I intended to do. I received letters from some of them, stating that they wanted to have a personal conversation with me. I went to see them, and in some cases made two or three calls before I could have a personal Page 75 interview with them. I explained my intention to their satisfaction, and they seemed to be very much interested and responded very liberally.
I remained in London nine months, and I do not think that I saw a dozen colored people in the immense city while I was there. I remained in London so very long that my hair began to grow long, and I needed shaving very bad indeed. I had an engagement to preach in one of the leading churches, and on Saturday afternoon I went to a barber shop to have my hair cut. As I went in I noticed that they looked at me very strangely, but they received me kindly.
I told them that I wanted my hair cut. The proprietor undertook the job. They looked at each other and looked at my hair, then he commenced work. He trimmed awhile, and soon found out that my hair was tougher than the hair he had been cutting. He stopped and said, "I can not cut it; pay me for what have done, and I'll quit. I said, no you must complete your contract. After awhile he got through, and declared it was the hardest half a day's work he had done for several months. He said he did not know there were people with such tough hair as that; if he had known it he would not have taken the job.
When he got through the job I was about as much fatigued as he was. I went over to France, and visited Paris and other leading cities. A distinguished gentleman went with me from London. He was my interpreter. I had not studied French enough to speak it clearly. We stopped at the same hotel. He could speak English and French also. He gave me lessons in French, and I soon learned how to ask and answer the important questions.
I met some very wealthy people in that city. They received me very kindly wherever I went. I explained to them what I was trying to do, and they became interested, after hearing what I was doing. I spent nine months in London, where I was most kindly received by the people of that great city, who contributed to my cause nine thousand two hundred and sixty dollars.
My visit to Paris was limited to five weeks, where I realized one thousand two hundred and forty dollars. I was well pleased with my visit to these two great European cities. I also visited several other countries while I was across the Atlantic. I was delighted with the kind treatment I received during my visit to foreign countries. I found no distinction in passing and repassing.
I soon felt that I was perfectly at home. I also received the kindest treatment in Canada on my visit to that country. When I Page 77 returned I was satisfied that the Lord had abundantly blessed my mission among strangers, whom I had never seen before. This thought gave me great consolation. The only time I was reminded that my complexion was different from those that I came in contact with across the ocean was when I looked in the glass.
I am satisfied that we, as a race, can be respected among all nationalities, regardless of color or previous condition. The people in the city of Raleigh, white and colored, respect me as a citizen. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. It is inspiring to me to know that both races, white and colored, seem to have utmost confidence in me; and yet it is very sad for me to know that the majority of the race that I am identified with conduct themselves so that the Anglo Saxon race have no confidence in them.
I have often told my wife that the people have too much confidence in me. They would trust me for a hundred thousand dollars or more and depend on my honor to pay it. I told her the only thing I was afraid of was that they might induce me to go too far and might cause me to lose my reputation. A man without reputation had about as well to be in oblivion as to be living.
As a leader among my race, I endeavored to impress upon them, as a race, to be trustworthy and have self reliance. I also teach them to practice punctuality. My heart bleeds within me to know that many of them are wanting in punctuality. I am sorry to say, if they set a time to preach at eleven o'clock, it is often twelve-thirty before they commence; and if they say that they are going to preach at nine o'clock, it is frequently ten-thiry. I have always made it a rule, if I am going to preach or lecture, I will be there ten or fifteen minutes before time.
I told the students that attended the Latta University, where I have presided as president for ten long years or more, if I failed to be on time one minute, or unless I notify them, or unless it is inconvenient, I would give them ten dollars, and no one has yet found me one minute late. This is the kind of teaching that I impart to my race, and especially those that are under my supervision. Taking everything into consideration I have nothing to say against my white friends in the Page 80 Southern State.
They, as a race, do not want social equality. Neither do we. It is needless to argue that a colored man cannot so conduct himself as to win recognition in the highest degree. One of the leading wholesale men in the city of Raleigh that furnishes supplies to the school that I preside over, said to my wife that "Dr.
Latta can do what I can not do.
Latta can ride on the railroads and give checks at his convenience for any ticket he desires to pay for. It surprised me very much indeed to know that a member of the Anglo Saxon race had watched my actions and my dealings so closely. If the people would be trustworthy, as a rule, they could do the same. I often wonder why it is that the railroads can not indulge people and depend on their honor in many instances; but the trustworthy are among the few.
It is inspiring to me to say that the railroads have indulged me for tickets, and I would rather my right hand was separated from my body before they, or any who indulge me, should lose a dollar. I remember that we had a party of ten persons that we brought from the school to Philadelphia. Page 80a. The day we started I asked the city passenger agent what time would the train arrive.
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He said that the train was an hour late, for me to come at one-twenty. He misquoted the time to me, and I arrived there ten minutes before he said for me to arrive, and just as I got in sight of the depot I heard the train as the whistle blew the station blow.
We had to check the baggage, and the ticket agent was excited over the matter. We were trying to make the train, and he failed to put the number of tickets upon the party list. The conductor came around for the tickets, and he said to me, "You are short two tickets of the number you are required to have for your party.
I said, in reply, as soon as we get to the next station I will wire the agent, because we have paid for all of the tickets. He said, "All right, I will wait until you get to the next station. After he and I got through talking he went back into the parlor car and saw the general manager of that entire railroad system, one among the largest railroad systems in America. He said he told him that Dr. Latta had a party going to Philadelphia, and he lacked two tickets of having the required number. He told the General Passenger Agent that he would have to Page 82 collect the fare for the two unpurchased tickets.
He said, "I do not know him. All I can do is to take his statement. He told him that Dr. Latta would not make an untrue statement. He said, "Go and add the two names to the party list--his statement must be correct, because he is all right. The conductor came back into the car and looked at me a few minutes before he spoke. I imagined he looked into my face to see whether I was a white man or a colored man. He told me he saw the General Passenger Agent in the parlor car, who told him any statement that I made was true --that I would not make an untrue statement.
Inspiring emotions presented themselves to me and lighted up my heart like the lights in heaven that shine by night. Several of my teachers and students were present and heard the statement that the General Passenger Agent conveyed to me by the conductor. I imparted these inspiring expressions to my teachers and students that were present.
I was not so very well acquainted with the General Passenger Agent, but knew his father very well, from whom he had doubtless learned of my trustworthiness. I said to the teachers and students who were present: "Now let these inspiring expressions that you heard coming from the honorable Passenger Agent of this great railroad system be inspiring words of encouragement to you. There is no mortgage on the school property; the school owes but a very little money. My purpose is to pay every dollar that the school owes during , and by the help of God will do it. Those who read the history of my life and work will find that I believe in God indeed.
I also believe in work; for no man can succeed unless he believes in God, and he must also believe in work, for one without the other is of little value. I am sorry to say that the Federal Government pays no attention to the negro's interest in the United States. There is one important thing that fills my heart with gratitude, and that is that President Roosevelt does not hold the negro responsible for his color or condition.
He desires to see all men treated alike, so far as justice is concerned. If the Chief Executive of these United States was to talk and act as some I know, opposing the negro's interest and privilege, I would say to the negro, as a leader, before the sun goes down behind the western horizon, to bundle up and leave these United States; because prejudice would be so great that we could Page 86 not remain here.
But as long as the head of the Government seems to take an independent stand for justice, my advice to the race is to continue on until a change comes that will be calculated to force us away. We have had an excellent corps of teachers. Mary K. Smith was one of the brightest female teachers that has ever occupied a position in any school.
It was very interesting to me to see her instruct her scholars how to solve hard problems. She was a graduate from St. Augustine College, Raleigh, N. I claim that the history of my life and work is sufficient to solve the negro problem; that is, to prove that the negro can do something, even in the midst of opposition. God alone knows what I have experienced in establishing this institution. In the midst of so many obstacles I have worked hard, night and day, and trusted in God. He has been with me and will be until the end of my life. Labor and capital seems to be at war all the time.
Labor is the father of capital, and instead of conflicting interests, they should form a combination; they can not succeed and be antagonistic to each other. I am satisfied that the time is near at hand when the two will meet and settle all grievances satisfactorily.
It will cause distress among all nations as long as the two forces are antagonizing each other. It causes the country to suffer on account of the division between the two. There is no question about it, they must unite in one common cause. We can not go back on labor nor wealth. If labor and wealth would unite it would be much better for the country. A wealthy man's money perishes in his hand if he can not get labor. Let me illustrate: We have several hundred acres of land connected with the institution, and if we can not get labor, the land is worthless to us, for we could not think of paying one-tenth of its taxes.
So it can be seen that the two races are depending on each other for a livelihood. The white race, as a rule, has the money; the colored race, as a rule, has the labor; so it is plain that each race is depending on the other. Our duty is to live friendly, as we are here together. Our interests are the same. The white race need not fear about social equality, for social equality never will be between the white race and the colored race.
The white people do not have social equality among themselves as a race; several distinctions are made among them as to social equality. There are also several distinctions made among the colored people as to social equality, but not so much as among the whites. The white people are better informed how to classify themselves in society than the colored people are. This is the only safe guide by which we can succeed, and if we will follow this rule, God will be on our side, and we will be abundantly blessed as a people, because we will be following the Divine teaching, which all men must adhere to if they expect to prosper in life.
These expressions are the golden rules, and we must follow them, for God has foreordained that we must follow them, so far as social equality is concerned. I would not have social equality Page 89 with either race, white or colored; the only ambition I have along that line is for the public to respect me on general principles. In dealing with the public I want them to treat me as a citizen in transacting business. This is all the social equality I want, or I ever asked for, or I ever will ask for. I am teaching my race to act likewise.
We should get along well together if we put what I have said into practice. We are here together, and it seems that we are here to stay. I tell my race that it is very indiscreet for us not to make friends with those we expect to live with. We admit that the colored people are ignorant as a race, and desire to go too fast. I claim that all they need is proper training and sufficient time for a thorough development; and I ask our white people as a race not to hold them responsible for their ignorance, but have patience and they will develop in some future day.
My heart almost bled within me when I stopped at Mr. Harrell's boarding house, which I have mentioned above. I told Mr. Harrell I did not have the money for mine and my wife's board and lodging. He said he had no confidence in the colored people as a rule, but there were exceptions to the rule. He said he had indulged quite a number of them, and they Page 90 failed to pay him. I told him that I would be sure to pay him in a day or two.
I went in the city and got up a day school and a night school. Harrell I would pay him some money the next week. I also told the furniture man the same thing, and also the gentleman that I rented the house from. I got up a very respectable school. The proceeds of the day and night school amounted to nine dollars a week. My scholars paid me in advance. I took some of the proceeds and paid Mr. Harrell, and he said he found out that I was trustworthy. He told me to come back and stay a month or two. I thanked him for his kindness and told him no.
I went to the furniture man and paid him some money, and also paid the man I rented the house from. I paid the groceryman some on account. The nine dollars had about set me straight. They all said that I was trustworthy, and said I had excelled all of the strangers that they had ever dealt with. They told me to come back and get anything that I wanted. They said that they were satisfied that I intended to do what was right; they invited me to come back and stop with them again. I felt proud to know that they had so much confidence in me.
I continued to teach school for several months--day school and night school. The parents and scholars all seemed to love me, and gave me a number of fine presents. A thought came to me during my teaching"if a man will do the will of God, whatever he puts his hands to will prosper. I am satisfied that a man's work will follow him. My teaching to the colored people is, if they sow bad seeds, they may expect to reap bad fruit; and if they sow good seeds, they may expect to reap good fruit.
In an humble way I tried to set good examples for my race. I know that the colored people, as a race, are weak. God has chosen some among the race who are competent to teach them. No one can be successful as a teacher unless he practices what he preaches. God has chosen more teachers than one; He has chosen teachers among all races. Washington is doing a great work for his people, but yet the people find fault of him. They found fault of Jesus Christ, and we, as leaders, do not expect anything else, only for them to find fault of us.
I believe in the motto of David Crocket : "First know that you are right, and then go ahead. If I had paid any attention to what my Page 92 race said, Latta University would never have been built. They did all they could to prevent the establishment of the institution; they got down upon their knees and prayed to God that the school should not be built. God payed no attention to their prayers; God knew that their prayers were from an ignorant source. And He, in His supreme wisdom, ignored their prayers, and animated me in establishing the institution.
I knew when I started to establish the institution that God was with me, for truth and justice will always be rewarded. God has promised those that uplift the weak and make them strong that He would abundantly reward them. I desire to speak a word concerning our white people in the city of Raleigh, as to their attitude towards the colored people. I must say it is of the very kindest nature. In reality, there has not been a conflict between the two races in the city of Raleigh for twenty-five or thirty years.
We have had no lynching in the city of Raleigh. Neither race would submit to it. We feel proud of the white people in the city of Raleigh, and the white people feel proud of us as a race. I have heard the white people say on several occasions, when colored people come from other towns and act unbecoming, that "They are not our colored people, for they are well behaved, as a rule. We think well of the colored people who live here.
The trouble that they have with each other is very little; it does not amount to anything worth speaking of. In a few days you would never know that they ever had any trouble between themselves. The city of Raleigh is a city that I feel proud of. I have been here almost twenty years. I Page 94 have visited every town and city in the United States. During my visits to the various cities and towns, I noticed carefully the relationship between the white and colored people.
I scrutinized very closely, and I found the relationship in the city of Raleigh superior to any in the United States. Raleigh sets a good example for all of the Southern cities to follow. I often get down on my knees and pray that such a spirit that has prevailed over the city of Raleigh will continue for centuries to come. The ministers in the city of Raleigh, white and colored, and the Christian people, have had a great deal to do with the true spirit that has prevailed over Raleigh for over a quarter of a century.
Raleigh contains about fifteen thousand inhabitants within the corporate limits; the city in reality contains about thirty thousand inhabitants. The two races are just about equal in population. Raleigh is an inland city. It is quite beautifully located. It is also a very healthy city. It is six miles from Neuse River. Railroad system is very good; you can leave the city about six times every day and night for all points north, west and east. In former years there was not very much manufacturing done here, but lately it has become Page 95 quite a manufacturing city.
It is also quite an enterprising city. It is increasing its number of enterprises every year. The people in the city of Raleigh, as a rule, have become very wealthy, especially the white people. It has not been as enterprising as some other cities in the State, but the people have seen the great necessity of having enterprises in the community, and they have determined to make the city of Raleigh second to none.
This is evidence that we have a plenty of money in our city, but it is hard to get. Walter Raleigh, for whom the city was named, was a great man, according to history. The city is improving very rapidly. It has many beautiful mansions, and fine, wide streets,. We have a Governor that we all feel proud of--a high-toned Christian gentleman.
He is in favor of educating both races alike; he believes in the money being divided equally between the two races for educational purposes. He is a Governor for the people, regardless of races or sex. Aycock has given us a wise and excellent administration. When he made his inaugural Page 96 speech, he said: "I am a Governor for the people. I intend to see that the law is administered to every man alike. No man in the State of North Carolina can justly find fault with his administration, for he has been wise and liberal in all of his acts.
His intention has been, from beginning to end, to animate the State during his administration. His people feel proud of him as a Governor of North Carolina. The colored race feels proud of him as their Governor. He is a man of patriotism. I have been acquainted with the Governor whom I speak of over ten years. I found him to be a gentleman in the highest degree. I regret and sincerely believe that the State of North Carolina regrets, that his time is almost expired as the Chief Executive of the State.
We have six colleges in the city of Raleigh. Four white colleges--the Baptist Female University, St. Mary's, Peace Institute, and A. We also have three colored colleges--Shaw University, St. Augustine's, and Latta University. This is sufficient to show that we believe in educating our people. It will decrease crime and extend virtue in our beloved State. I truly hope that the men who are engaged in making laws for the State will force this measure sufficiently to make it a law, and place it upon our statute books, as a living monument through all ages to come.
I admit without any hesitation that the other Southern States, like North Carolina, are becoming deeply interestted in education. I mean the leading educators for the people at large have not been interested in education. I am glad to know that the people are calling meetings all over the State of North Carolina to show that the proper interest is being taken along educational lines. I believe that the General Assembly of North Carolina will be asked next session to make education compulsory. If the measure falls to be presented to the General Assembly this session, I am positive it will be presented the ensuing session.
When I first left the city of Raleigh to establish the Latta University, I only had enough money to carry me to Norfolk. In riding in the car from Raleigh to Norfolk, my mind was overtaxed with grief. I wept bitterly, thinking why I ever thought of such a big undertaking, with no money to start with. I had a brother who was Page 98 living in Norfolk. I went out to his house and staid all night, with not a dollar in my pocket. I learned that there was a church in the city that had no pastor.
A deacon lived not very far from my brother; he was the chairman of the board of deacons, and he gave me an appointment to preach at eleven o'clock. It was a very stormy morning, and also very rainy. I don't think I have ever seen it rain so much in all of the days of my life as it rained that day. But I told the deacon that I would be there at eleven o'clock. I went as I had promised. There were about a hundred people present, or more. They seemed to be very much pleased with my sermon.
After I got through preaching, I lectured to them about five minutes. I told them that I was going to Boston with the intention of establishing an institution in Raleigh to be known as Latta University. They seemed to be very much interested. They gave me enough to carry me to the city of Boston. I went on Monday. I got on a boat that went by the way of Providence, R. I never had been on a boat before.
After I got sixty or seventy miles from Norfolk, Va. I made up my mind that I could not live. There was a lady on the boat going from Norfolk to Boston; in order to stay with her folks, I got acquainted with her. I wrote my will, disposing of what little I had. I gave her Page 99 my address, and told her where my family lived, and asked her to convey the sad news to my family, if I should die.
She said she would. I told her that I did not expect to live to get to Boston. I told her that I was satisfied that my mission on earth was ended. I was very ill for two days, and was unable to eat anything during the whole time. I became perfectly willing to die, but the good Lord spared me to reach Boston. When I reached that city I was a stranger; I never had been to Boston before.