Booker T. Washington, Early Black Leader and EducatorBooker T. He was born in a slave hut but, after emancipation, moved with his family to Malden, West Virginia. Dire poverty ruled out regular schooling; at age nine he began working, first in a salt furnace and later in a coal mine. Determined to get an education , he enrolled at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute now Hampton University in Virginia , working as a janitor to help pay expenses. He graduated in and returned to Malden, where for two years he taught children in a day school and adults at night. Following studies at Wayland Seminary, Washington, D. In Washington was selected to head a newly established normal school for African Americans at Tuskegee, an institution with two small converted buildings, no equipment, and very little money.
Booker T. Washington
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. After a secondary education at Hampton Institute, he taught an upgraded school and experimented briefly with the study of law and the ministry, but a teaching position at Hampton decided his future career.
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.
Booker Taliaferro Washington April 5,  — November 14, was an American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between and , Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community. Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. They were newly oppressed in the South by disenfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post- Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Washington was a key proponent of African-American businesses and one of the founders of the National Negro Business League. His base was the Tuskegee Institute , a historically black college in Tuskegee, Alabama. As lynchings in the South reached a peak in , Washington gave a speech, known as the " Atlanta compromise ", which brought him national fame.
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. When he was 16, his parents allowed him to quit work to go to school. They had no money to help him, so he walked miles to attend the Hampton Institute in 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.