Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Apr. 5: Booker T. Washington, American educator, author, and presidential advisor


Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was an American educator, author, and presidential advisor. He was born enslaved on a Virginia plantation and taught himself to read and write around age 9 or 10. He worked hard to put himself through college and, at 25 years old, was chosen to lead a new teacher's training college in Alabama, the Tuskegee Institute. He oversaw students in building the school, which emphasized practical trades: his students would not just learn to make buildings and to grow crops and farm animals, but to teach others to do the same. He saw education as the solution to the oppression of American blacks, especially in the South. His two autobiographies, The Story of My Life and Work and Up From Slavery, are worth reading, though the latter is a more polished version of the first and might be read alone.


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