Booker T. Washington is a man who needs little introduction. He was born into slavery but managed to be one of the most influential men in American history.

His autobiography “Up From Slavery” has been credited with advancing the cause of civil rights in America by providing an example for black people that they could succeed despite discrimination against them.

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In his book “The Story Of My Life,” he discusses how plantation songs have nothing to do with religious fervour as some people think. I am inclined to believe that at least part of this mistaken idea may come from the fact that many ignorant persons are under the impression that all Negroes attend church regularly and spend their evenings in prayer meetings.

So while some people think plantation songs have something to do with religious fervour, they actually don’t. Booker T. Washington believes it is likely a misconception by “ignorant persons”.

He goes on to say: It is true there are few churches among them but I attribute this largely to laziness because when you go into any neighbourhood where most of them live, you will find signs proclaiming ‘Church going.’ He explains why he thinks so many black people have not committed Christians despite living next door.


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