Introduction - Booker T Washington
Booker T Washington (Booker Taliaferro Washington) was born into slavery in 1856. He became free in 1865 with President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and went on
to become the most important and famous leader of the black community from the last decade of the 1800s through his death in 1915. He lived at a time when black people
were freed from slavery but were still greatly oppressed by most whites. They were legally segregated, as was upheld by the Supreme Court decision in 1896 in the
Plessy v. Ferguson case that stated "separate but equal" was legal. Black people had been given the right to vote with the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution; however numerous barriers, especially in the south, were put in place along with outright violence which caused most African-Americans not to vote. This
post-Civil-War era needed strong leaders in the black community; this is exactly who Booker T. Washington was. He was a savvy political leader of the black community
who knew how to fight for black rights and how to gain support from many important figures in the white community to progress the cause of equality for African-
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On this page you will find a list of interesting facts about this famous man in black history. Information includes how he became famous, why many black people of the time disagreed with his civil rights tactics, and exactly who Booker T Washington was. Whether you are a kid writing a paper for black history month or and adult interested in this great man we hope you find this information informative.
Booker T Washington Interesting Facts
- Booker T Washington was born on April 5th of 1856 and died on November 14th of 1915.
- Booker T Washington believed African-Americans should avoid confrontation with their white oppressors over segregation; a tactic that angered many in the black community. He instead believed the path to equality was through education and economic success. Another famous black man, W. E. B. DuBois, was Washington's greatest critic.
- In 1881 at the age of 25 he established the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. This school focused on teaching black students both trades and academics.
- He gave a famous speech at the Atlanta Exposition in 1895. In this speech he encouraged black people to focus on education and entrepreneurship as a means to obtain equality with white people. He explained that it was not the time for political agitation of white society and that equality would come with economic success.
- In 1900 he founded the National Negro Business League (NNBL). The purpose of this organization was to help with the advancement of African-American's in regards to education, industry, and agriculture.
- He wrote fourteen books during his lifetime; his second autobiography, "Up From Slavery", which was published in 1901 is considered by many experts his best; it became a bestseller.
- An interesting fact is that in 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt invited him to the White House to dine with him and his family; making him the first African American ever invited to the White House.
- Booker T. Washington died on November 14th of 1915 from what was later determined to be hypertension.
- On the 100th anniversary of his birth, the house in Franklin County, Virginia where this famous black man in history was born, was declared the Booker T. Washington National Monument.
- In October of 2009 a monument was dedicated to this famous man in Booker T. Washington Park in Malden, West Virginia by West Virginia State University.