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Booker T Washington

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Booker T Washington was one of the best advocates in his time. Growing up in slavery and out coming the horrifying struggles of the 1870's was a great effort. Born in the era were black people were like flies he found a determination to succeed and discovered many powers in life.

Washington childhood was one of privation, poverty, slavery, and backbreaking work. Born in 1856, he was from birth the property of James Burroughs of Virginia. He didn't know his father but his mother Jane raised him and put him to work as soon as possible. Washington received no Education because it was illegal for him to receive an education. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, but it could not be enforced until the end of The Civil War in 1865. Washington's stepfather was very fortunate because he found work packing salt in Malden. Jane moved to join her husband in Malden. The nine year old spent exhausting days packing salt. Like many blacks being free Washington wanted an education. When he was 16 he decided he wanted to go to Hampton Institute. He didn't know if he was going to excepted and if he did were he would get the money to pay.. Hungry he arrived at the doorsteps of Hampton.

Hampton Institute became a big influence to Washington's life. Armstrong, the founder of Hampton, believed in work, study, hygiene, morality, self-discipline, and self-reliance. His purpose was to train black teachers, but every student should have a trade was well. Washington's trade was being a janitor. After graduation Washington became a teacher in Tinkersville, West Virginia for three years. In 1878 he left to attend Wayland Seminary in Washington DC, but quit after six months. In 1879 Armstrong asked him to return to Hampton Institute as a teacher. Washington did so, and then in 1881 Armstrong recommended him as the principal of a new school called Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. July 4, 1881 was the first day of school at Tuskegee Institute. It was a humble beginning, but under Washington's care both the school and Washington grew to be world famous. His school made lasting and profound contributions to the South and to the United States - such as through the work of one of its teachers - George Washington Carver.

One of his main problems was always finding enough money. The support he received from the state was neither generous nor stable enough to build the kind of school he was developing. So he had to raise the money himself by going on speaking tours and solicitating donations.



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