Booker Taliaferro Washington (1856 – 1915) was an African American educator, author and orator who became one of the most prominent leaders of the black community. Born into slavery, Booker became free after the Emancipation Proclamation. He studied at the Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute in Virginia graduating with honors. After being educated, he built a network of numerous well-known entrepreneurs and philanthropists helping secure huge donations for the betterment of the African American community. Washington was also an influential orator and author; whose speeches and books had an enormous impact on African Americans. Know all about Booker T. Washington including his biography, interesting facts about him, his major achievements and his best quotes.
Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in 1856, in Franklin County, Virginia. Booker spent his first nine years as a slave on the Burroughs farm. In 1865, when Booker was nine, he and his family in Virginia gained freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation as US troops occupied their region. In 1872, at the age of sixteen, Booker T. Washington enrolled himself at the Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute in Virginia. In 1875, he graduated with honors from Hampton. Washington then became the leader of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama, with which he had a lifelong association. Washington married three times in his life as his first two wives passed away. After being diagnosed with Bright’s disease, Washington passed away on November 14, 1915 at the age of 59. Know about the family, childhood, education, marriages, career and death of Booker T. Washington through his biography.
Booker T. Washington began his career as the leader of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. He uplifted the institute from modest beginnings to a nationally renowned university with around 1,500 students. Washington went on to become the dominant leader in the African American community from 1890 till his death in 1915. He mobilized middle-class blacks, church leaders and white philanthropists to build the economic strength of the African American community by focusing on self-help and schooling. He was also a widely read writer. In the period from 1900 to 1912, he published five books. Due to his numerous contributions, Washington has been honored in various ways including him being the first African American to be depicted on a US postage stamp and coin. Know more through his 10 major accomplishments.
Such was the stature of Booker T. Washington, that he became the first African American to be invited at the White House by an American president. However, this led to a major controversy leading to the administration denying the fact. Memphis Scimitar declared the invitation to be “the most damnable outrage which has ever been perpetrated by any citizen of the United States”. Washington also remains controversial for his views. For instance, he was responsible for the now infamous Atlanta Compromise; and expressed views such as whites could teach the blacks how to be civilized. Know more through these 10 interesting facts.
1. “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”
2. “No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.”
3. “Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.”
4. “The individual who can do something that the world wants done will, in the end, make his way regardless of his race.”
5. “I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.”
6. “No greater injury can be done to any youth than to let him feel that because he belongs to this or that race he will be advanced in life regardless of his own merits or efforts.”
7. “No man, who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives, is left long without proper reward.”
8. “In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.”
9. “Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
10. “There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.”