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 was the dominant leader in...

Washington was of the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants, who were newly oppressed by disfranchisement...

His base was the Tuskegee Institute, a historically black college in Alabama. As lynchings in the South reached a peak in 1895, Washington gave a...

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,...

Washington was born a slave in Virginia. After emancipation, his family resettled in West Virginia. He worked his way through Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now Hampton University) and attended college at Wayland Seminary...

Washington attained national prominence for his Atlanta Address of 1895, which attracted the attention of politicians and the public, making...

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...

In addition to his contributions in education, Washington wrote 14 books; his autobiography, Up From Slavery, first published in 1901, is still widely read today. During a difficult period of...

Washington was born into slavery to Jane, an enslaved African-American woman on the Burroughs Plantation in southwest Virginia. She never identified his white father, said to be a nearby planter,...

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 plantation songs had...

She and her husband, the freedman Washington Ferguson, were formally married in West Virginia. When he started school, Booker took the surname...

The youth worked in salt furnaces and coal mines in West Virginia for several years to earn money. He made his way east to Hampton Institute, a school established to educate freedmen, where he worked to pay for his studies. He also...

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 his death in...

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...

Washington's work on education problems helped him enlist both the moral and substantial financial support of many major white philanthropists. He became a friend of such self-made men as Standard Oil...

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

The organizers of the new all-black state school called Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama found the energetic leader they sought in 25-year-old Washington. He believed that with self-help, people could...

Washington expressed his vision for his race in his direction of the school. He believed that by providing...

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

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

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 three children. Murray...

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 supported...

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...

"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 perceived as subversive of a natural...

Both Washington and Du Bois sought to define the best means to improve the conditions of the post-Civil War...

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...

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 were...

Washington privately contributed substantial funds for legal challenges to segregation and disfranchisement, such as the case of Giles v. Harris, which was heard before the United States Supreme Court in 1903. Even...

State and local governments gave little money to black schools, but white philanthropists proved willing to invest heavily. Washington encouraged them and...

A representative case of an exceptional relationship was Washington's friendship with millionaire industrialist and financier Henry H. Rogers (1840–1909). Henry...

A few weeks later Washington went on a previously planned speaking tour along the newly completed Virginian Railway, a $40-million...

Washington revealed that Rogers had been quietly funding operations of 65 small country schools for African Americans, and...

In 1907 Philadelphia Quaker Anna T. Jeanes (1822–1907) donated one million dollars to Washington for elementary...

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...

In 1912 Rosenwald was asked to serve on the Board of Directors of Tuskegee Institute, a position he held for the remainder of his life. Rosenwald endowed Tuskegee so that Washington could spend less time fundraising and more...

Washington's long-term adviser, Timothy Thomas Fortune (1856–1928), was a respected African-American economist and editor of the The New York Age, the most widely read newspaper in the black community within the...

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

"so saturated with the odor of the nigger that the rats have taken refuge in the stable", and declared "I am just as much opposed to Booker T. Washington as a...

Austro-Hungarian ambassador to the United States Ladislaus Hengelmüller von Hengervár, who was visiting the...

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

His death was believed at the time to have been a result of congestive heart failure, aggravated by overwork....

At his death Tuskegee's endowment exceeded $1.5 million. Washington's greatest life's work, the education of blacks in...

For his contributions to American society, Washington was granted an honorary master's degree from Harvard...

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

In 1934 Robert Russa Moton, Washington's successor as president of Tuskegee University, arranged an air tour for two African-American aviators....

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

In 1942, the Liberty Ship Booker T. Washington was named in his honor, the first major oceangoing vessel to be...

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 was named...

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...

On October 19, 2009, West Virginia State University dedicated a monument to the memory of noted African American educator and...

Washington was held in high regard by business-oriented conservatives, both white and black. Historian Eric Foner argues that the freedom movement of the late nineteenth century changed directions so as to align with...

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

Historians since the late 20th century have been divided in their characterization of Washington: some describe him as a...

People called Washington the "Wizard of Tuskegee" because of his highly developed political skills, and his creation of a nationwide...


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