Booker T. Washington - Biography, W.E.B. Dubois & Facts - HISTORYOn this date in , Booker T. Washington was born. He was a Black activist and educator, who urged Blacks to gain equality through education and economic advancement. After emancipation, his family was so poor that he worked in salt furnaces and coal mines at age nine. An intelligent and curious child, he yearned for an education and was frustrated when he could not receive good schooling. When he was 16, his parents allowed him to quit work to go to school. They had no money to help him, so he walked miles to attend the Hampton Institute in Virginia.
W.E.B. Du Bois vs Booker T. Washington - Then and Now
Booker T. Washington (1856–1915)
Booker Taliaferro Washington April 5,  — November 14, was an American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between and , Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community. Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. They were newly oppressed in the South by disenfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post- Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Washington was a key proponent of African-American businesses and one of the founders of the National Negro Business League.
Booker T. Washington was an author, educator, orator, philanthropist, and, from until his death in , the United States' most famous African American. The tiny school he founded in Tuskegee, Alabama, in is now Tuskegee University, an institution that currently enrolls more than 3, students. The most famous of the several books he authored, coauthored, or edited during his lifetime, Up from Slavery , has become a classic of American autobiography, drawing comparisons not only to earlier slave narratives but also to such texts as The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. In the eyes of many of his contemporaries, Washington was an exemplary American citizen, "a public man second to no other American in importance," as the novelist William Dean Howells called him in When Washington became the first African American to receive an honorary degree from Harvard University in , a Boston newspaper ranked him among "our national benefactors. Du Bois, acknowledged Washington's status as both a racial and national leader, referring to him in as "the one recognized spokesman of his ten million fellows, and one of the most notable figures in a nation of seventy millions.