Born: April 5, 1856 (Hale’s Ford, Virginia)
Died: November 14, 1915 (Tuskegee, Alabama)
Famous For/Known For:
Educator and Civil Rights Activist
A Little About Booker T Washington
Born to a slave and an unknown white man.
Washington often watched the children his age through the windows of the school house. He very much wanted to attend but back then it was illegal to teach slaves to read and write.
Washington’s mother, knowing how interested her son was in learning bought him books in which he learned to read and write.
In 1866 Washington decided he wanted to attend Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute, a black university, and walked the 500 miles to get there. After meeting with the founder and headmaster, General Samuel C Armstrong, Washington was offered a scholarship which was sponsored by a white man.
In 1875 Washington graduated from Hampton with high scores.
In 1881 although General Armstrong was asked to recommend a white man to run the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute which was a black school, he recommended Washington.
Washington’s speech, the Atlanta Compromise, caused quite a stir. He stated that African American’s should accept being deprived of certain rights and social segregation as long as whites allowed them economic progress, opportunity for education and justice in the courts.
The civil rights activist, W.E.B. DuBois very much disapproved of Washington’s speech, criticizing him for not demanding equal rights as granted in the 14th amendment.
In 1901 Washington was invited to the White House by President Theodore Roosevelt making him the first African American to be so privileged.
Booker T Washington died from congestive heart failure at the age of 59.
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