Booker T. Washington



Booker T. Washington
Oznabrig was painful to wear. In his Up from Slavery (1901), Booker T. Washington noted:
"The most trying ordeal I was forced to endure as a slave boy was the wearing of a flax shirt. In…Virginia where I lived it was common to use flax as part of the clothing for the slaves. That part of the flax from which our clothing was made was …the cheapest and roughest part. I can scarcely imagine any torture, except, perhaps, the pulling of a tooth, that is equal to that caused by putting on a new flax shirt for the first time. It is almost equal to the feeling that one would experience if he had a dozen or more chestnut burrs, or a hundred small pin-points, in contact with his flesh. … My brother John… performed one of the most generous acts that I ever heard of one slave relative doing for another. On several occasions when I was being forced to wear a new flax shirt, he generously agreed to put it on in my stead and wear it for several days, till it was 'broken in.'"

Item sets