Dear Mr. Washington,
I am writing this letter a long time ahead to invite you to our next annual convocation which will be held on the 5th of June 2019. It is with great honor that I welcome you so that you can give my fellow Black students an inspiring speech on the need for education. I have seen you in various places speak about the chronological progression of your life to show the people where you rose from. I welcome you to the conference on that date so that you can help my fellow black students understand how hard labor, honesty, and thrift can help them achieve success and equality. Just as you usually say “who themselves or whose ancestors went through the school of American slavery, are in a stronger and more hopeful condition, materially, intellectually, morally, and religiously, that is true of an equal number of black people in any other portion of the globe” (Washington, 16). I believe that my fellow youths will be in a better position to understand your message and they will put it into practice.
The executive committee in our organization has given me the mandate to speak with you as their representative because we are all your children and we value all that you say, friend. We also follow all the things that you mention in your speeches and letters. Just as you speak about all the privileges being ours, we believe we can achieve everything if we put efforts. “It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercises of these privileges” (Washington, 2). We understand that most young people who grew up in slavery does not know what slavery and freedom mean because they never left the plantation but now that they are free. We need you at this conference so that you can help these young people understand that they are worth and can be equal to the whites in terms of status. Just as you said “Most of the verses of the plantation songs had some reference to freedom. True, they had sung those same verses before, but they had been careful to explain that the “freedom” in these songs referred to the next world, and had no connection with life in this world.” (Washington, 19-20). Now that we have freedom in our hands, I humbly welcome you to come and speak with your people. We, therefore, think that you will honor us with your presence and give us your benediction.
The movement that we formed has grown to a large number, and the annual gathering is getting large. We, therefore, seek to enlarge its spheres and make it more influential so that everyone who may come to the conference will hear new things and learn. Upon emancipation, most of us who are now freed slaves feel that we must at least accomplish two things; the first is to change the name, and the 2nd is to leave the plantation so that to experience what freedom means. “More than once I have tried to picture myself in the position of a boy or man with an honored and distinguished ancestry which I could trace back through a period of hundreds of years, and who had not only inherited a name” (Washington, 35). There are a lot more things that we need to know about. Acting upon the promulgated lines and plans, we decided that the annual convocation that we hold every year to be meaningful. It is our pressure to invite you to the conference so that you can see how we are fairing and so that you can correct us in the places that we are going wrong. I know you understand all the struggles that we passed through during the slavery era such as, walking from Franklin to Malden to emphasize our family determination and struggles and to create a strong establishment. “Finally, we reached our destination—a little town called Malden, which is about five miles from Charleston, the present capital of the state.” (Washington, 25). We were conversant with the harsh conditions in the plantations, but through struggles, we got our freedom. Concerning this, there are various challenges that we are experiencing as young people, and we need the advice to solve these challenges friend. It would, therefore, be our pressure if you avail yourself in that gathering.
Finally, we are all united and determined to win in this journey. I believe that the Lord God Almighty is with you and with us too. All of us are mudsills; we aim to explain the need for education among the black people and the potential we possess. We are stressing on the necessity of knowledge to the youngsters as a way of improving our lives. We believe that through education, we will develop higher ideas of home and how it operates. Although there are a few challenges that we are facing, we thank God in every inch of progress that he grants us. We can’t fail to say that “God is good in our lives and he will continue to be.” I honestly feel that if you accept our invitation, you are in a better heart for your work.
Washington, B. T., & Loram, C. T. (1971). Up from slavery: an autobiography. Corner House Publishers.
Washington, Booker T. “Atlanta Exposition address, 1895.” Black History Bulletin 68.1 (2006): 18.