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

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 and...

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...

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, reward friends and distribute funds while...

In 1856, 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...

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

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...

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...

Washington was born into slavery to Jane, an enslaved African-American woman on the Burroughs Plantation in southwest Virginia. She never...

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 to freedom......

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...

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

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...

Washington contributed secretly and substantially to legal challenges against segregation and disfranchisement of blacks. In his public role, he believed he could achieve more by skillful accommodation to...

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 magnate...

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

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 expressed his vision for his race in his direction of the school. He believed that by providing needed skills to society, African Americans would play their part, leading to acceptance by white Americans. He...

Washington was married three times. In his autobiography Up From Slavery, he gave all three of his wives credit for their contributions at Tuskegee. His first wife Fannie N. Smith was from Malden, West Virginia, the same...

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

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

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 perceived as...

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...

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

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 displayed....

Washington privately contributed substantial funds for legal challenges to segregation and...

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...

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...

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

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 those of Henry Rogers and others funded schools in...

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...

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...

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 friends and allies. In October 1901 President Theodore...

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

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...

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

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...

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

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

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

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 American, the Booker T....

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...

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

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

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

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 of...

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, white philanthropy, and Republican...


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