The admired educator, Booker T. Washington was one of the most important black leaders since the post-Civil War Reconstruction. He was a educator, social activist, and writer. Exploring his history, what he did in life, and how it effects us today would be interesting.
Booker T. Washington was born April 5,1856, near Hale’s Ford, Franklin County, VA. He was the son of an enslaved mother and a white father. His mother’s name was Jane and she belonged to James Burroughs and served as cook for the Burroughs family and their slaves. He was allowed no education and did not even own a pair of shoes until the age of 8, when he was employed as the operator of a contraption designed to shoo flies away from the food. There he received an introduction to white society, etiquette, and more or less cultured conversation, which would prove of lasting importance in the course of his life. In Malden, Booker received his first classroom education. One day, he determined that he would seek a formal education at Hampton Institute for blacks.
Booker did many things In life, but he had to take steps in order to succeed. With the financial help of many local black residents, he was able to enroll at Hampton Institute in the fall of 1872. He became a teacher at the institute in 1879. In 1881, Washington founded and became principal of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. He started the school in an old abandoned church and a shanty. Later changed in to Tuskegee University. It taught specific trades, like farming, and mechanics, and trained teachers. To reduce racial conflicts, Washington advised blacks to stop demanding equal rights and to simply get along with the whites. He urged whites to give blacks better jobs.
Washington became a shrewd political leader and advised not only Presidents, but also members of Congress and governors on political appointments for blacks and sympathetic whites. He urged wealthy people to contribute to various black organizations. In 1900, Washington founded the National Negro Business League to help black business firms. He never publicly supported black political causes that were unpopular with Southern whites. But he secretly financed lawsuits opposing segregation and upholding the right of blacks to vote and serve on juries. By controlling most black newspapers, Washington made it difficult for