Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington


Booker Taliaferro Washington was born in a log cabin in to slavery on April 5,1856. He grew up on a plantation in Franklin County,Virginia. Bookers mother was the cook on the plantation, his father was a local white man. He took no responsibility for his son. Washington is not Booker's real last name, Taliaferro is. He got the name Washington from the man his mother married, another black who escaped from slavery to West Virginia during the Civil War. His step dad put the children to work in the salt mines.

Booker moved to Malden, West Virginia after the Civil War. There his step father was kept as a slave. While in Malden he enhanced his education. He studied books and other works of literature to do so. After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the Hampton Normal and Agriculture Institute. He graduated from the institute in 1875, then became a teacher. In 1881 he started a school in Tuskegee for the training of blacks to become teachers. He then turned the ramshackle of a school into Tuskegee University with a $2000 appropriation from the Alabama legislature. He became the first president of Tukegee University, which appropriately opened on July 4 in the year 1885.

In 1895 Booker delivered his famous "Atlanta Compromise" address at the Cotton Exposition. Washington stated at this speech"To those of my race who depend on bettering their conditions in a foreign land, or who underestimate the importance of cultivating friendly relations with the southern white man, I would say: cast down your bucket where you are."

The Boston formation of the National Negro Business League in 1900 was antagonized by a pro-DuBois heckler. The heckler was then arrested. Booker was called "The Great Compromiser" by DuBois because he refused to condemn southern whites for their adherence to segregation of races.Washington felt that if power was collaborated among whites and blacks in the southern states, it would allow the region to prosper.

Booker Taliaferro Washington died on the 14th day of December, 1915.

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