Booker T. Washington, Early Black Leader and EducatorBorn a slave on a Virginia farm, Washington rose to become one of the most influential African-American intellectuals of the late 19th century. In , he founded the Tuskegee Institute, a black school in Alabama devoted to training teachers. Although Washington clashed with other black leaders such as W. Du Bois and drew ire for his seeming acceptance of segregation, he is recognized for his educational advancements and attempts to promote economic self-reliance among African Americans. Across the landscape of the most anguished era of American race relations strode the self-assured and influential Booker T.
Biography of Booker T. Washington, Early Black Leader and Educator
Booker T. Washington April 5, —November 14, was a prominent black educator, author, and leader of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born into slavery , Washington rose to a position of power and influence, founding the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in and overseeing its growth into a well-respected black university. Washington was a controversial figure in his time and since, criticized for being too "accommodating" on the issues of segregation and equal rights. Washington was born in April on a small farm in Hale's Ford, Virginia.
On this date in , Booker T. Washington was born. He was a Black activist and educator, who urged Blacks to gain equality through education and economic advancement. After emancipation, his family was so poor that he worked in salt furnaces and coal mines at age nine. An intelligent and curious child, he yearned for an education and was frustrated when he could not receive good schooling.
Used by permission of the publisher. Booker T. Washington, , Educator. Booker Taliaferro Washington was the foremost black educator of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He also had a major influence on southern race relations and was the dominant figure in black public affairs from until his death in Born a slave on a small farm in the Virginia backcountry, he moved with his family after emancipation to work in the salt furnaces and coal mines of West Virginia.
With mesmerizing oratory and an energetic speaking schedule, Washington became a major spokesman for his people. A skilled politician, he developed relationships with blacks, whites, farmers and businessmen in the North and the South. Washington's controversial Atlanta Exposition speech in appeared to support separate development as a " necessary condition for economic cooperation between the races. Many believe that Washington's address laid the ground for state supported segregation. Dedicated to the continued existence of Tuskegee, Washington secretly supported many black causes for equality. For Washington, education and hard work led to economic independence, and then to political rights. The former slave became a major political force.
Booker T. Washington was one of the most influential and controversial African Americans in history. Raised the son of a slave mother, Washington was self-motivated and committed to his own education from a young age. The tumultuous time in America's history during which he lived afforded him new freedoms that came from Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of and the eventual success of the North in the Civil War. He took the first opportunity to attend a formal school, Hampton Institute, which led to professorship and the founding of one of the most prestigious African American educational institutions of the nineteenth century, Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Washington was seen as accommodating the status quo of African American subordination because the message of his writings and speeches was that the road to success for blacks was through achieving economic stability through education mainly, vocational training ; he did not protest, did not challenge the political system, did not speak about the lack of social equality like his critics, Frederick Douglass and W.