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about:washington_booker_taliaferro 2012/08/09 14:29 about:washington_booker_taliaferro 2012/11/14 13:12 current
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-Washington, Booker Taliaferro was born into slavery on a farm in Franklin County Virginia in 1856. Washington is a surname he adopted upon taking lessons in a little school at his home. In 1872, he worked his way to Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, where he paid his expenses by assisting as a janitor. The Hampton Institute opened in April 1868 under the direction of General Samuel Chapman Armstrong with the goal: +====== Washington, Booker T. ====== 
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 +Booker Taliaferro Washington was born into slavery on a farm in Franklin County Virginia in 1856. Washington is a surname he adopted upon taking lessons in a little school at his home. In 1872, he worked his way to Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, where he paid his expenses by assisting as a janitor. The Hampton Institute opened in April 1868 under the direction of General Samuel Chapman Armstrong with the goal:
“to train selected youth who shall go out and teach and lead their people, first by example by getting land and homes; to give them not a dollar that they can earn from themselves; to teach respect for labor; to replace stupid drudgery with skilled hands; and to these ends to build up an industrial system, for the sake of character” (Brawley, 158). These ideas are reflected later in Washington’s own thought and program at the Tuskegee Institute. After graduating in 1875, he returned to Malden West Virginia where he taught school for three years. In 1879, he was appointed to instructor at Hampton Institute. In 1881, General Armstrong recommended Washington to organize and become principle of a school to open in the little town of Tuskegee Alabama. The Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute was founded in 1881 for the purpose of training teachers in Alabama. The students were required to build their own buildings and produce their own food. Soon after its founding, the Tuskegee Institute became a center of industrial and agricultural education. In 1900, Washington establishes the National Negro Business League, publishing his autobiography Up From Slavery in 1901. From 1890 until his death in 1915, Booker T. Washington was the dominant leader of the African American community. “to train selected youth who shall go out and teach and lead their people, first by example by getting land and homes; to give them not a dollar that they can earn from themselves; to teach respect for labor; to replace stupid drudgery with skilled hands; and to these ends to build up an industrial system, for the sake of character” (Brawley, 158). These ideas are reflected later in Washington’s own thought and program at the Tuskegee Institute. After graduating in 1875, he returned to Malden West Virginia where he taught school for three years. In 1879, he was appointed to instructor at Hampton Institute. In 1881, General Armstrong recommended Washington to organize and become principle of a school to open in the little town of Tuskegee Alabama. The Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute was founded in 1881 for the purpose of training teachers in Alabama. The students were required to build their own buildings and produce their own food. Soon after its founding, the Tuskegee Institute became a center of industrial and agricultural education. In 1900, Washington establishes the National Negro Business League, publishing his autobiography Up From Slavery in 1901. From 1890 until his death in 1915, Booker T. Washington was the dominant leader of the African American community.
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Booker T. Washington was a leader, but he was never seen as an intellectual or a writer. Instead his skills were in being a political organizer and a power-broker. He was a pragmatic manipulator of political power who had a well-developed sense of the possibilities of the political and racial situation in the South, and used the power that he had to effect change in the context within which he operated. Washington focused his energies on the South, based in his belief that that was where the future of the black race resided. Eventually, Washington became an adviser to U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Taft, both of whom harbored racist ideologies, leading many to see Washington as a tool of racial subordination. It is in this powerful position that Washington was able to exclude his critics from government jobs, university appointments, and access to philanthropic funds. Through these efforts Washington was able to give a voice to African American life on a national stage. His vision of African American progress was promoted and accepted by many leading figures of the day and inspired its fair share of critics, creating the next generation of African American leaders. His ability to form coalitions at all levels of society provided the means to educate many African Americans in the South and serves as an indelible part of African American history in the United States. Booker T. Washington was a leader, but he was never seen as an intellectual or a writer. Instead his skills were in being a political organizer and a power-broker. He was a pragmatic manipulator of political power who had a well-developed sense of the possibilities of the political and racial situation in the South, and used the power that he had to effect change in the context within which he operated. Washington focused his energies on the South, based in his belief that that was where the future of the black race resided. Eventually, Washington became an adviser to U.S. Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Taft, both of whom harbored racist ideologies, leading many to see Washington as a tool of racial subordination. It is in this powerful position that Washington was able to exclude his critics from government jobs, university appointments, and access to philanthropic funds. Through these efforts Washington was able to give a voice to African American life on a national stage. His vision of African American progress was promoted and accepted by many leading figures of the day and inspired its fair share of critics, creating the next generation of African American leaders. His ability to form coalitions at all levels of society provided the means to educate many African Americans in the South and serves as an indelible part of African American history in the United States.
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