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Booker T Washington Biography – On His Significant Contributions for Education and Human Rights

Booker.T.Washington was a leader born at the cusp of slavery and emancipation. He believed in building character and preferred that before demanding civil rights the blacks invest in themselves and the nation through academics and practical education. Washington is also renown as an orator and author.

Booker T Washington BiographyPHOTO BY MARMADUKEPERCY

Booker T Washington Biography - ‘Tuskegee Machine’

The Booker T Washington biography is an inspirational read of a man who rose above his circumstances and left a mark in history. Booker T Washington (1856-1915) was principally an educator and political leader. Washington was born to an enslaved black woman in southwestern Virginia and a white man. After emancipation Washington worked his way through school; here he met Samuel Armstrong who mentored and greatly influenced him. Armstrong was also instrumental in installing Washington as the principal of the Tuskegee Institute for black children.Washington’s belief in academics supported by practical education gave the school a strong foundation. Washington was a conservative leader who believed that before asking for voting rights the blacks needed to contribute towards nation building and prove their loyalty. The whites, especially wealthy philanthropists, showed their approval by donating large sums of money to educational projects that Washington supported; thus earning them the title ‘Tuskegee Machine’. Washington did more than any man in his time for the education of the blacks.Booker T Washington rose to national attention with his Atlanta Exhibition address. After this he was regarded as a popular spokesman for all African-American people. His entire philosophy, whether towards education or civil rights, is best represented in his own words, “… progress in the enjoyment of all the privileges that will come to us must be the result of severe and constant struggle rather than of artificial forcing."

Booker T Washington Vs WEB Dubois - Great Accommodator

The Booker T Washington Vs WEB Dubois debate hinges upon what should have been the right approach for advancement of black civil rights. Dubois preferred a stronger approach whereas Washington felt that this would be to the detriment of the blacks as they were outnumbered and sorely needed cooperation from the whites.Initially Dubois supported Washington, it was after the Atlanta Exhibition address that he started becoming disillusioned by Washington’s ‘go slow’ approach. Dubois wanted more aggressive action to get blacks their rights and believed that they too should have similar education as the whites. This Booker T Washington Vs WEB Dubois standoff led to Washington being nicknamed ‘Great Accommodator’ by Dubois.

Booker T Washington Quotes - Samples

Washington's quotes give an insight into the man's character and philosophy of life; words that still stand as true today as when they were conceived. Following are a few samples of Booker T Washington quotes are; on character - "Character is power", "Character, not circumstances, makes the man"; and on the value of hard work and setting high standards - "Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way", “ Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work”, “ Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome”.

Written by Lucy King

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