Finding a Way Out: An Autobiographyby Robert Russa Moton
THE story that is recorded here is written only at the repeated and urgent solicitation of those of my friends who have known me best, and have insisted that the telling of it would serve a useful purpose, especially at this time, in helping to a clearer understanding of the hopes and aspirations of my own people and the difficulties which they have overcome in making the progress of the last fifty years which has been so frequently described as "the most remarkable of any race in so short a time."
There is no other justification, I am sure, for telling a story that is so simple and lacks so many of those elements which compel interest and hold attention. As a matter of fact, I do not believe it to be very different in its main outline from the story of hundreds and perhaps thousands of other coloured men who have found their way out of the difficulties which face the average Negro youth in the midst of American life.
I have tried to record the events that have given character and colour to my own life, and at the same time to reflect the impressions made upon my mind by experiences that I could not always reconcile with what I had learned of American ideals and standards. In doing this I have also found the opportunity to acknowledge the kindly advice and help that have come to me from hundreds of friends among men and women of both races and sections, and of every walk in life.
Whatever of labour and pains may have gone into this story, I shall feel amply repaid if it encourages any member of my race to greater faith in himself, as well as in other selves, both white and black; and shall help him to make his life count for the very most in meeting and solving the great human problem which we in this country call the "race problem."
And I shall be further repaid if it shall have some slight part in leading any youth of the white race to follow the example of other members of his own race of both North and South, and dedicate himself to the service of human welfare in securing justice and a fair opportunity for the humblest American citizen, whatever his race or colour, to the end that the white man of the North, the white man of the South, and the Negro shall work harmoniously together in bringing forward that Peace on Earth which results when men have Good Will.
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