About a week ago, a friend of mine called to say he had something for me. My friend, Steve is a collector of all items interesting from memorable music on vinyl to historic artifacts like the one above. His dad recently passed away, his mom preceded a few years before. He’d been busy packing up his childhood home when he found this 1912 letter to Albert Merrill of Massachusetts from Booker T. Washington asking for a donation to support the college he’d founded, Tuskegee Institute. Steve is always thinking of others, so knowing that I’ve been a collector of my own family’s history and history in general, he thought of me even in his time of grief.
The letter now hangs in my office just across from the picture of my ancestors in the header of this blog. I will treasure it not only because it was written by such a prominent African American historical figure, but because my friend Steve gave it to me.