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...

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

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 speech in Atlanta that made him nationally famous. The speech called for black...

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,...

In 1856, Washington was born a slave in Virginia to a woman named Jane. After emancipation, his family resettled in...

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...

In addition to his contributions in education, Washington wrote 14 books; his autobiography, Up From...

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, and...

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 some reference...

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

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...

Washington was a dominant figure of the African-American community, then largely based in the South, from 1890 to his death in 1915, especially after his Atlanta Address of...

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...

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

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

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

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 go from...

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

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

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

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...

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

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

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...

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

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...

Washington worked and socialized with many national white politicians and industry leaders. He developed the ability to persuade...

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

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

State and local governments gave little money to black schools, but white philanthropists proved willing to invest heavily. Washington encouraged them and directed millions of their money to projects all across the South that...

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

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

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

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 contributions and...

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...

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...

Washington's long-term adviser, Timothy Thomas Fortune (1856–1928), was a respected African-American economist and editor of the The New York Age,...

In an effort to inspire the "commercial, agricultural, educational, and industrial advancement" of African Americans, Washington founded the National Negro Business League (NNBL) in...

When Washington's second autobiography, Up From Slavery, was published in 1901, it became a bestseller and had a major effect on the African-American community, its...

"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 voter as I am to the cocoanut-headed, chocolate-colored...

Tillman said, "The action of President Roosevelt in entertaining that nigger will necessitate our killing a thousand niggers...

Austro-Hungarian ambassador to the United States Ladislaus Hengelmüller von Hengervár, who was visiting the White House on the same day, claimed to have found a rabbit's foot in Washington's coat...

Despite his travels and widespread work, Washington remained as principal of Tuskegee. Washington's health was deteriorating rapidly in 1915;...

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...

At the end of the 2008 presidential election, the defeated Republican candidate, Senator John McCain, referred to Washington's visit to Roosevelt's White House a century before as the seed that blossomed into Barack...

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 years later, he was honored on the first coin to feature an African...

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...

On April 5, 1956, the hundredth anniversary of Washington's birth, the house where he was born in...

In 1984 Hampton University dedicated a Booker T. Washington Memorial on campus near the historic...

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

At the center of the campus at Tuskegee University, the Booker T. Washington Monument, called "Lifting the Veil," was dedicated in 1922. The...

He lifted the veil of ignorance from his people and pointed the way to progress through education and...

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

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...

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

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

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...


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    Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an African-American educator, author, orator, and advisor to Republican presidents.

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    African-American leader Booker T. Washington founded the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama. Learn more at Biography.com.

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