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Booker T Washington Short Bio
Booker Taliaferro Washington (Hale’s Ford, April 5, 1856 – Tuskegee, November 14, 1915) was an educator, speaker, co-leader and leader of the black American community. He was released from slavery in his childhood, and after performing several minor jobs in West Virginia, he sought education at the Hampton Institute and the Wayland Seminary. In 1881, with the recommendation of Samuel C. Sam Armstrong – founder of the Hampton Institute – he was appointed as the first leader of the recent Tuskegee Institute of Alabama, which, at that time, was a university for teacher training for blacks.
Washington believed that education was the key to the black community ascending in the economic-social structure of the United States. He became its leader and spokesman on a national scale. Although his style of non-confrontation was criticized by some (especially by WEB & Dude & Bobs who nicknamed Washington “the great usher”) he was very successful in his relationships with great philanthropists such as Anna T. Jeanes, Henry Huddleston Rogers , Julius Rosenwald and the Rockefeller family, who sponsored education at Hampton and Tuskegee with thousands of dollars. They also financed hundreds of public schools for black children in the south and made donations to promote legal change on segregation and the right to vote.
He received honors from the University of Darmouth and Harvard University and was the first black guest with honors to the White House. He was considered the most powerful black man in the nation from 1895 until his death in 1915, and hundreds of local schools and institutions are named after him.
More Facts about Booker T Washington
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