Booker T. Washington was among the most controversial and influential black Americans in history. Raised as the slave mother’s son, Booker was committed and self-motivated to his education from a tender age (Washington, 2010)…
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Washington took his first opportunity to join a school for formal education in Hampton Institute and this led to his professorship and founding of the most famous African American learning institution in the nineteenth century, Tuskegee Institute. People saw Booker as having the status quo of the black American subordination from his speeches and writings indicated that the road to success for black Americans was only through achieving economic stability with the aid of education such as vocational training (Washington, 2010). Washington did not challenge any political system, protest or even claim about the issue of social fairness like his critics, W.E.B Du Bois and Frederick Douglass. He chose to focus on what Africans could accomplish mainly by concentrating on industrial skills because he believed these skills would help blacks to achieve economic stability. Booker felt that the rebellious rhetoric of his critics distracted the blacks from the road to accomplishment through economic success (Washington, 2010)....
Fortunately, his mother acquired a Webster’s spelling book’s copy for him, which he vigorously studied. After convincing his stepfather, he did allow him to join a school for black Americans, although he still had to work in the salt mine before and after classes to cater for his family (Washington & Harlan, 2004). While working in the mines, Booker learned of a former slaves’ school, Hampton Institute. He left the work to join Hampton in 1872 after making enough savings to cater for him and his family (Gates & Jarrett, 2007). During his life in Hampton, he came up with his principles of industrial education. After graduation, he went back to Maiden where he worked as a teacher, but finally employed in Hampton as a staff member. In 1881, after recommendation by the founder of Hampton, he was requested to go and start up another industrial school in Alabama (Gates & Jarrett, 2007). Founding Tuskegee Institute Born into slavery, Booker experienced racial discrimination throughout his entire life. His desire and commitment to school, made him to be among the view black Americans who were educated, whereby he succeeded to become a teacher after his graduation (Gates & Jarrett, 2007). Believing in industrial education, Booker founded Tuskegee Institute in Alabama when he was twenty-five years old. Booker believed that social racism was highly entrenched to extend that demanding immediate social equality would not be successful (Gates & Jarrett, 2007). The vision of his institute was to train black Americans to acquire skills that could help them the most. Tuskegee Institute eventually became an agricultural research institute center. One of the famous products of Tuskegee Institute was George Washington
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