Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) is an American hero and role model. Raised in slavery, he became the leading advocate for former slaves and their descendants. He devoted his life to fighting Jim Crow discrimination and championing civil rights.
Washington worked in the brutal coal mines and salt furnaces in West Virginia in order to pay for an education. Through education, hard work, and grit, he became an educator, author, and orator. He also became an adviser to several presidents.
At age 25, Washigton became the first principal of the Tuskegee Institute (Tuskegee University). He sought to train students, especially future teachers, in practical skills, morals, and religious life, in addition to the standard academic subjects. (Tuskegee’s most famous graduate and faculty member was George Washington Carver.)
Washington was called the “Wizard of Tuskegee” because of his educational prowess and his widespread political influence.
Washington’s autobiography, Up from Slavery, became an instant best seller and classic. His following proclamation is very profound.
“A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good, just because it’s accepted by a majority.”