Page:Boys Life of Booker T. Washington.djvu/110

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94

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON

upon young men and women come hurrying from all directions, and each turns to his or her appointed task. A young carpenter completes the little house, a young mason finishes the laying of the brick wall, a young farmer leads forth a cow and milks her in full view of the audience, a sturdy blacksmith shoes a horse, and, after this patient, educative animal has been shod, he is turned over to a representative of the veterinary division to have his teeth filed. At the same time, on the opposite side of the platform one of the girl students is having a dress fitted by one of her classmates, who is a dressmaker. She at length walks proudly from the platform in her completed new gown, while the young dressmaker looks anxiously after to make sure that it 'hangs right behind.' Other girls are doing washing and ironing with the drudgery removed in accordance with advanced Tuskegee methods. Still others are hard at work on hats, mats, and dresses, while boys from the tailoring department sit cross-legged working on suits and uniforms. In the background are arranged the finest specimens which scientific agriculture has produced on the farm and mechanical skill has turned out in the shop. The pumpkin, potatoes, corn, cotton, and other agricultural products predominate, because agriculture is the chief industry at Tuskegee, just as it is among the negro people of the South.

"This form of commencement exercise is one of