On Line Reviews by Mike Ramey

“We are going forward, and we shall keep going forward if we do not let these difficulties which sometimes occur discourage us.”

--Booker T. Washington, Author

“Character Building”


     The Bible.  Hard work.  Thrift.  Community investment.  Education.  Business building by men and women.  These might ‘seem’ like modern innovations.  However, if one knows their history, these items—and more—were the ‘norm’ in the old South after the Civil War and Reconstruction Era.  They were proclaimed by many but put on the record by a small number of individuals.  Booker T. Washington, former slave who grew to serve as founder of Tuskegee Institute was one of them.  While he wrote several books, a small number of people are familiar with this one: “Character Building” (1902/2019 revised, 198 pages, Kakapo Books).


     This is one of those books that is not going to be read in one afternoon.  While the chapters are short, the wisdom packed in them is relevant for today.  Washington, during his tenure as head of Tuskegee was a Christian man.  Tuskegee Institute did not shirk from its Christian roots, as Washington did not turn his back on his Christian faith.  Washington had chapel and religious studies at the Institute regularly.  “Character Building” contains many of the Sunday evening lectures or “talks” which he presented to students and faculty.  Many of the words, as one reads this work, still vibrate off the page, a source of strength today.  Washington clearly was led by the Lord in his efforts.  That’s why his teachings through this work stand tall, among a sea of small men and women.


“You are going to be greatly discouraged sometimes, but if you will heed the lesson of fighting out what you have undertaken, that same disposition will follow your all through life, and you will get a reputation, because people will say of you that there is a person who sticks to whatever he or she undertakes.”


--Booker T. Washington, Author


     While these lectures were first published in 1902, they have been published again in 2019.  The work also includes a lot of photos and background on Washington, not as a means to detract from his words, but as a ‘gift’ to the reader to know more about the man.  His views on education, race relations, religion, Jesus Christ, hard work and investment of one’s self in their community are worthy of study and implementation.  Some of the topics included in this work are: “Getting On In The World”, “A Penny Saved” and “What Would Father and Mother Say?”


     “Character Building” should be on many a bookshelf.  While it may be considered a hard-to-find item, rest assured that it is worth the effort to track it down.


     Mike Ramey is a Minister, syndicated columnist, book reviewer and consultant.  “On Line Reviews” is one of a variety of regular column titles which Ramey has in cyberspace from Barnstorm Communications International.  If you care to drop him a line, or a whine, feel free to reach him at mgmikeramey@yahoo.com. ©2020 Barnstorm Communications International

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Rev. M. G. “Mike” Ramey (Retired) served as the Certified Modern Street Gangs Specialist & Media Consultant of “The Gang Line”. He had been interviewed in the U. S. and abroad on radio, television, and Internet about the dangers of Modern Street Gangs since 2007. His writings on Modern Street Gangs abound in print and online. Previously, he served as an award-winning broadcast journalist, producer, and TV/Radio talk show host. He has also served as a staff writer, section editor, and syndicated columnist. Ramey has won—or helped to win—some two dozen journalism awards and citations. He also holds a Police Citation for Citizen Bravery from the Indianapolis Police Department (1986). Ramey is also married, an Ordained Minister (Retired) and a KJV Bible Teacher.

Ramey is a Certified Modern Street Gangs Specialist with Certifications in Law Enforcement (2006), Non-Law Enforcement (2010), and Gangs & Cults Ministry (2017). He also has endorsements in K-12 Gang Issues and Transnational Gangs. He also carries Specialist Ratings in Cult/Occult Crime, and Transnational Human Trafficking. Ramey has also served with several International anti-gang ministries, including Gangstyle.com of Washington state (2004-2009), Thug Exposed Ministries of California (2010 to 2015) and Bishop Outreach Ministries of Florida (2010 to 2015).

In 2011 “The Gang Line” offered training and certification coursework for those interested in becoming certified Modern Street Gang Specialists: Training approaches the anti-gang ministry field through the combined use of spiritual (biblical principles/discipleship) and criminal (gang members and gang crime). From 2015-2017, Ramey served as an Advisory Board Member for the School of Criminal Justice at Harrison College, Indianapolis, Indiana, with a specialty of Organized Crime & Gangs. From 2017-2019, Ramey served as a Bible Teacher to at-risk detained juvenile offenders at the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center with his own Bible-based Curriculum centering upon Biblical Life Skills taught from the Book of Proverbs.

Rev. Ramey’s skill set includes having been a veteran substitute teacher (Secondary Education), a college instructor for two Bible colleges in the Indianapolis, Indiana area, a Probation Officer (Intensive/High Risk & School-Based) with the Marion County Juvenile Court, and a peer grant reviewer of anti-gang grant programs with the U.S. Department of Justice (2010). He also created, designed, and taught the course “Modern Street Gangs: Developing Urban Ministry Strategies—UM-190” at Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, Indiana (2009 & 2010). In 2013, Ramey served as a post-production Consultant for Chick Publications’ national anti-gang comic: “Black Angel”. It was translated into Spanish in 2014.

Ramey has written extensively on the topic of Modern Street Gangs with two Internet columns: “The Gang Line” and “The Gang Line Blogger” which abound in cyberspace. In a post-pandemic society, the motto of The Gang Line still rings true: “Spiritual Solutions for Spiritual Problems!”

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