Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington...

Washington was of the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice...

His base was the Tuskegee Institute, a historically black college in Alabama. As lynchings in the South...

Booker T. Washington mastered the nuances of the political arena in the late 19th century which enabled him to manipulate the media, raise money, strategize, network, pressure,...

In 1856, Washington was born a slave in Virginia to a woman named Jane. After emancipation, his family resettled in West Virginia. He worked his way through Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now...

Washington attained national prominence for his Atlanta Address of 1895, which attracted the attention of politicians and the public, making him a popular spokesperson for African-American citizens. He built a nationwide network of...

Northern critics called Washington's widespread organization the "Tuskegee Machine". After 1909, Washington was criticized by the leaders of the new NAACP, especially W. E. B. Du Bois, who demanded a stronger tone of...

In addition to his contributions in education, Washington wrote 14 books; his autobiography, Up From Slavery, first published in 1901, is...

Washington was born into slavery to Jane, an enslaved African-American woman on the Burroughs Plantation in southwest...

As the great day drew nearer, there was more singing in the slave quarters than usual. It was bolder, had more ring, and lasted later into the night. Most of the verses of the...

The youth worked in salt furnaces and coal mines in West Virginia for several years to earn money. He made his way east to...

Washington was instrumental in having West Virginia State University, founded in 1891, located in the Kanawha Valley of West...

Washington was a dominant figure of the African-American community, then largely based in the South, from 1890 to...

Late in his career, Washington was criticized by leaders of the NAACP, a civil rights organization formed in 1909. W. E. B. Du Bois advocated activism to achieve civil rights. He labeled Washington "the Great Accommodator"....

Washington contributed secretly and substantially to legal challenges against segregation and disfranchisement of blacks. In his public...

Washington's work on education problems helped him enlist both the moral and substantial financial support of many major white...

The schools which Washington supported were founded primarily to produce teachers, as blacks strongly...

The organizers of the new, all-black state school in Alabama called the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial...

Washington expressed his vision for his race in his direction of the school. He believed that by providing needed skills to society, African Americans...

Washington was married three times. In his autobiography Up From Slavery, he gave all three of his wives credit for their contributions at Tuskegee....

Washington next wed Olivia A. Davidson in 1885. Born in Virginia, she had studied at Hampton Institute and the Massachusetts State...

In 1893 Washington married Margaret James Murray. She was from Mississippi and had graduated from Fisk University, a historically black college. They had no children together, but she helped rear...

Washington's 1895 Atlanta Exposition address was viewed as a "revolutionary moment" by both African Americans and whites across the country. At the time W. E. B. Du Bois...

Washington advocated a "go slow" approach to avoid a harsh white backlash. The effect was that many youths in the...

Well-educated blacks in the North advocated a different approach, in part due to the differences they perceived in opportunities. Du Bois wanted blacks to have the same "classical" liberal arts education as upscale...

"Free black people were 'matter out of place'. Their emancipation was an affront to southern white freedom. Booker T. Washington did not understand that his program was...

Blacks were solidly Republican in this period, having gained emancipation and suffrage with the President Lincoln and his party. Southern states disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites from 1890–1908 through...

Washington worked and socialized with many national white politicians and industry leaders. He developed the ability to persuade wealthy whites, many of them self-made men,...

Along with Du Bois, Washington partly organized the "Negro exhibition" at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, where photos of Hampton Institute's black students...

Washington privately contributed substantial funds for legal challenges to segregation and disfranchisement, such as the case of Giles v. Harris, which...

State and local governments gave little money to black schools, but white philanthropists proved...

His contacts included such diverse and well-known entrepreneurs and philanthropists as Andrew Carnegie, William Howard Taft, John D....

A representative case of an exceptional relationship was Washington's friendship with millionaire industrialist and financier Henry H. Rogers...

A few weeks later Washington went on a previously planned speaking tour along the newly completed Virginian Railway, a $40-million enterprise which had been built almost entirely from Rogers' personal fortune. As Washington...

Washington revealed that Rogers had been quietly funding operations of 65 small country schools for African Americans, and had given substantial sums of money to support Tuskegee...

In 1907 Philadelphia Quaker Anna T. Jeanes (1822–1907) donated one million dollars to Washington for elementary schools for black children in the South. Her...

Julius Rosenwald (1862–1932) was another self-made wealthy man with whom Washington found common ground. By 1908 Rosenwald, son of an immigrant clothier, had become part-owner and president of Sears, Roebuck and Company...

In 1912 Rosenwald was asked to serve on the Board of Directors of Tuskegee Institute, a position he held for the remainder...

Washington's long-term adviser, Timothy Thomas Fortune (1856–1928), was a respected...

In an effort to inspire the "commercial, agricultural, educational, and industrial advancement" of African Americans, Washington founded the National...

When Washington's second autobiography, Up From Slavery, was published in 1901, it became a bestseller and had a major effect...

"so saturated with the odor of the nigger that the rats have taken refuge in the stable", and...

Austro-Hungarian ambassador to the United States Ladislaus Hengelmüller von Hengervár, who was visiting the White House on the same day, claimed to...

Despite his travels and widespread work, Washington remained as principal of Tuskegee. Washington's health...

His death was believed at the time to have been a result of congestive heart failure, aggravated by overwork. In March 2006, with the permission of his descendants, examination of medical...

For his contributions to American society, Washington was granted an honorary master's degree from Harvard University in 1896 and an honorary doctorate from...

At the end of the 2008 presidential election, the defeated Republican candidate, Senator John McCain,...

In 1934 Robert Russa Moton, Washington's successor as president of Tuskegee University, arranged an air tour for two African-American aviators. Afterward he had the plane named the Booker T....

On April 7, 1940, Washington became the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp. Several...

In 1942, the liberty ship Booker T. Washington was named in his honor, the first major oceangoing vessel to be named after an African American. The ship was christened by Marian...

On April 5, 1956, the hundredth anniversary of Washington's birth, the house where he was born in Franklin County, Virginia, was designated as the Booker T. Washington National Monument. A state park in Chattanooga, Tennessee,...

In 1984 Hampton University dedicated a Booker T. Washington Memorial on campus near the historic Emancipation Oak, establishing, in the words of the University, "a relationship between one of America's great educators and social activists,...

Numerous high schools, middle schools and elementary schools across the United States have been named...

On October 19, 2009, West Virginia State University dedicated a monument to the memory of noted African American educator and statesman Booker T. Washington. The event took place...

Washington was held in high regard by business-oriented conservatives, both white and black. Historian Eric Foner argues that the freedom movement...

Washington repudiated the abolitionist emphasis on unceasing agitation for full equality, advising blacks that it was counterproductive to...

Historians since the late 20th century have been divided in their characterization of Washington: some describe him as a visionary capable of "read minds with the skill of a...

People called Washington the "Wizard of Tuskegee" because of his highly developed political skills, and his creation of a nationwide political machine based on the black middle class,...


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