Booker Taliaferro Washington

Date of birth: April 5th, 1856 booker_washington.jpg
Date of death: November 14th, 1915
Hometown: Southwestern Virginia
Education: African American educator, graduated from Virginias Hampton Institute.
Family: Mother was an enslaved African American named Jane, he knew little about his white father, he had a brother named John and a sister named Amanda.

What life was like for Booker as a child: Booker gained freedom in 1865 because of the emancipation proclamation, which declared the freedom of all slaves in any state of the confederate sates of America and because of the 13th amendment which officially abolished slavery. When he was 9 years old he migrated with his brother and sister to Malden. There he was enrolled in elementary school. He worked with his mother as a salt packer and in coal mines.

Influence on American history:
Booker was a moderate reformer, he suggested that whites and blacks work together for social progress. He argued for a gradual approach to racial equality. He simply tried to expand the notion of equal, pleading and appealing to whites for more equal treatment, trading better treatment for black cooperation with whites.

  • Headed the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, a school for African-Americans where he championed vocational training as a means for black self-reliance.
  • American political leader
  • Public speaker
  • Represented the last generation of black leaders born in slavery and spoke for those blacks who remained in the south. Made this into a book in 1901 called Up from slavery.
  • Built a nationwide of supporters in many black communities
  • Atlanta compromise (1895) Urged African Americans to get vocational training in order to establish themselves economically.

Supporters and friends:
Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Rogers, Andrew Carnegie, William Howard Taft, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Huttleston Rogers, Julius Rosenwald, Robert Ogden, Collis P. Huntington, and William Baldwin. Washington was a man supported by the liberals, not the conservatives. They were supporters of the civil rights group african american league and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People along with Washington. They all had the same views on racial equality as Washington as well.

Critics and Enemies:
Ida B. Wells, W.E.B Du Bois, and leaders of the NAACP. They thought that the problems of inequality were too urgent to postpone.

Fun facts:
  • Washington was married three times. His first marriage was to Fannie N. Smith and they had two children together Portia M. Washington and Booker T. Washington Jr. His second wife was Olivia A. Davidson, together they had one son Ernest Davidson Washington. His last wife was Margaret James Murray, they had no children together.
  • Wrote "Up from slavery" in 1901
  • Thought of the term racial equality which means a condition in which people are treated in the same manner by law and society regardless of their race.