Works of Booker T. Washington


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Although Tuskegee was non-denominational, all students were required to attend chapel daily and a series of religious services on Sunday. Washington himself usually spoke to the students on Sunday evening. Olivia Davidson, a graduate of Hampton and Framingham State Normal School in Massachusetts, became teacher and assistant principal at Tuskegee in In , Washington's older brother John, also a Hampton graduate, came to Tuskegee to direct the vocational training program.

Other notable additions to the staff were acclaimed scientist Dr. George Washington Carver, who became director of the agriculture program in ; Emmett J. Scott, who became Washington 's private secretary in ; and Monroe Nathan Work, who became head of the Records and Research Department in Through progress at Tuskegee, Washington showed that an oppressed people could advance.

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His concept of practical education was a contribution to the general field of education. His writings, which included 40 books, were widely read and highly regarded. Washington settled into the national scene on opening day of the Atlanta Exposition in when he spoke about "The New Negro," one with "the knowledge of how to live Counsel to many U. Washington was married three times. She died two years later, leaving an infant daughter, Portia who married William Sidney Pittman, an architect, in In , Washington married Hampton graduate Olivia Davidson, the assistant principal of Tuskegee, who died in Two sons were born to this marriage: Booker Taliaferro, Jr.

Margaret Murray Washington died in Margaret and her husband's three children and four grandchildren survived Washington, who died November 14, , at age fifty-nine of arteriosclerosis and exhaustion. He died after an illness in St. Luke's hospital, New York City, where he had been admitted on November 5. Aware that the end was near, he left with his wife and his physician, Dr.

John A. Kennedy, Sr. Booker T. He was buried on campus in a brick tomb, made by students, on a hill commanding a view of the entire campus. Washington immersed himself in the standard subjects as well as agriculture and brick masonry, but he also continued to develop the exceptional character that Viola had seen the beginnings of, under the tutelage of the charismatic Armstrong.

In Washington graduated, then became an instructor there a year later while also supervising a group of Native Americans who were attending as an experiment. In Armstrong was asked to recommend a white principal for a black normal school that was planned in Tuskegee, but instead he persuaded them to select Washington. The young teacher soon gained the confidence of the whites in the area and adeptly obtained donations.

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He would continue to secure finances for the Institute in the years to come from such illustrious benefactors as George Eastman, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Washington put all his effort into teaching eager young blacks, first from a small shanty, but he eventually secured land for the Institute. What followed was a tremendous effort by the students themselves to erect the principle buildings, and they provided their own food by various farming techniques. Porter Hall was the first building erected. Psychology, dairying, bee culture, horticulture, shoemaking, dressmaking, tailoring, cooking, brick making, carpentry, harness making and carriage dressing were some of the thirty-eight subjects taught.

Of the many facilities available there was a tin shop, a machine shop, and a printing press where the students published their own newspaper. Washington had learned early the values of hard work and industrial skills and they became the foundations for the school.

Daily attendance at chapel service was recommended. George Washington Carver, eminent botanist and agricultural researcher was one of more notable staff at the Institute, which consisted of all blacks. Monroe Nathan Work, noted bibliographer of black history and sociologist, was head of the Records and Research department for thirty-seven years. Washington over-saw all operations of the Institute and it continued to be his home-base for the rest of his life.

In Washington married his Malden sweetheart Fannie M. Smith, with whom he'd have a child, though it died a year later. In he married Olivia Davidson d. A few years later Washington married Margaret J. For a number of years Washington had been touring as a lecturer, expressing his philosophy on racial advancement, education, and accomodationist compromises for blacks.

His eloquent "Atlanta Compromise" speech on 18 September, , at the Atlanta Cotton States and International Exposition positively appealed to northern and southern whites and blacks from the south.

Booker T. Washington - Oxford Reference

The fates of all were inextricably bound he said and he pled for greater understanding and perseverance, and said that through hard work, self-discipline and education blacks would gain their deserved respect. Although contrasted with the current lynchings and worst rampant discrimination since the Civil war, his speech was met with a thunderous ovation and became the pinnacle of his career as spokesperson for American blacks' position in white corporate and political power structure.

Theodore Roosevelt was a good friend of Washington's and he came to be one of the President's advisors, as he continued to wield power and influence on race relations and policy. Washington was a supporter of the civil rights group Afro-American League and later the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People though he was reluctant to make this public information for fear that his white supporters would abandon him. He was well-connected with journalists, newspapers and various organisations, though it is said that some of his actions were questionable and ultimately self-serving, including having spies planted to gather information from opposing groups.

Washington graduated from Hampton in with high marks. In , he was chosen to speak at Hampton's graduation ceremonies, where afterward General Armstrong offered Washington a job teaching at Hampton.


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General Armstrong was asked to recommend a white man to run the school, but instead recommended Booker T. Classes were first held in an old church, while Washington traveled all over the countryside promoting the school and raising money.

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He reassured whites that nothing in the Tuskegee program would threaten white supremacy or pose any economic competition to whites. Under Booker T. Washington's leadership, Tuskegee became a leading school in the country. Washington put much of himself into the school's curriculum, stressing the virtues of patience, enterprise, and thrift. He taught that economic success for African Americans would take time, and that subordination to whites was a necessary evil until African Americans could prove they were worthy of full economic and political rights.

He believed that if African Americans worked hard and obtained financial independence and cultural advancement, they would eventually win acceptance and respect from the white community. Washington publicly put forth his philosophy on race relations in a speech at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, known as the "Atlanta Compromise.

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This started a firestorm in parts of the African-American community, especially in the North. Activists like W. Du Bois who was working as a professor at Atlanta University at the time deplored Washington's conciliatory philosophy and his belief that African Americans were only suited to vocational training. Du Bois criticized Washington for not demanding equality for African Americans, as granted by the 14th Amendment , and subsequently became an advocate for full and equal rights in every realm of a person's life.

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Though Washington had done much to help advance many African Americans, there was some truth in the criticism. During Washington's rise as a national spokesperson for African Americans, they were systematically excluded from the vote and political participation through black codes and Jim Crow laws as rigid patterns of segregation and discrimination became institutionalized throughout the South and much of the country.

Washington to the White House, making him the first African American to be so honored. But the fact that Roosevelt asked Washington to dine with him inferring the two were equal was unprecedented and controversial, causing an ferocious uproar among whites. Both President Roosevelt and his successor, President William Howard Taft , used Washington as an adviser on racial matters, partly because he accepted racial subservience. His White House visit and the publication of his autobiography, Up from Slavery , brought him both acclaim and indignation from many Americans.

While some African Americans looked upon Washington as a hero, others, like Du Bois, saw him as a traitor.

Many Southern whites, including some prominent members of Congress, saw Washington's success as an affront and called for action to put African Americans "in their place. Washington Symbolizing Black Empowerment. Born to a slave on April 5, , Booker Taliaferro Washington's life had little promise early on.

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