Booker T Washington

Background

Booker Taliaferro Washington was born April 5, 1856 and died on November 14, 1915. Booker T. Washington was born about 5 years before the civil war. By the end of the 19th century he was one of the well most known men in America. Booker was born into slavery, the cabin where Booker was born, was also the plantations kitchen.

His mother was the cook. Booker had many different jobs to do on the plantation. He would carry water out to the workers in the field; take corn to the mill, another jobs that were asked of him. When Booker was 15 years old he worked for a lady named Mrs. Viola Ruffin. He worked hard, cleaning for her.

He worked for her because she allowed him to learn after work. In the fall of 1872 Booker left for Hampton Institute in eastern Virginia. He didn't have very much money, didn't know anyone there, or if they would accept him. He just headed east until he got to Hampton. It was 500 miles. “He arrived and got a job as a janitor to pay for his schooling. Hampton Institute provided vocational training for blacks”(Tim Brooks).

That means it taught students to be farmers, carpenters, teachers, brick makers, or to do other useful jobs. Students learned skills and how to take pride in their work. Booker was one of the best students. When the president of Hampton Institute was asked to recommend someone to head a new training institute for blacks at Tuskegee, Alabama, he suggested Booker for the job.

When Booker got there he found basically nothing. They met in an old church, and there were no other teachers. Booker and his students went to work. They cut down trees, cleared land, dug wells, and built buildings. The school got built; the students learned important and useful trades; and their labor paid for their tuition.

What did he do?

Booker T. Washington was a very important man “Booker T. Washington was freed from slavery as a child and went on to obtain his education. He was one of the first black men to advocate education among the African-American population so they would have a greater impact on society and eventually would gain equality over time”(D.Martin Reese). Booker T. Washington was a true advocate for bringing the races together and knew the civil rights process would only come through hard work and education.

Booker T. Washington was an advocate of segregation; He felt African-Americans would be better off going to trade schools to learn how to perform manual jobs. He believed this was all African-Americans would ever be allowed to do. He even went on speaking tours to espouse this idea. Booker T. Washington did what he did because he thought that African Americans should be able to obtain a education weather they were a male or a female.

Why was he important

Booker T Washington was important because he felt that Blacks first had to become economically independent before they could fight for equal civil rights given to the Whites. “However Du Bois disagreed with him and ridiculed him for this claim, because he felt that civil rights needed to be fought for immediately, regardless of the Blacks' economic success”(Louis Harlan). Booker T Washington was an author, educator, and a leader amongst the African-American community in the 1890s. “He is famous for his speech that was called the Atlanta Exposition.

It was a speech that was focused on the white middle class asking to give black a chance to work and develop separately.”( Biography Resource Center). Booker T. Washington is important today because if he never would have stepped up at that time discrimination for blacks to be able to at least learn basic education. He wouldn’t have been able to do the things he did such as teaching a class of Africans Americans or maybe even the invention of peanut butter.

How can I relate to booker?

Booker T. Washington was a very intelligent African American man. If it wasn’t for him many African Americans and also my ancestors might have not been able to learn the basic education. He fought for what he believed in. He believed that every African American should be able to learn, now African Americans can learn. He set a good example for African Americans too, he wrote a book and he was an inventor. I think that he should be highly respected.