Notable Authors

August 02, 1998|By The Literary Almanac

Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)

was born in Franklin County, Va., the son of an unknown white man and a slave cook. He too was born into slavery, and as such spent his childhood packing salt, digging in a coal mine and working as a general's houseboy.

At age 25, he was chosen to become founding principal of a teacher-training school for blacks in Tuskegee, Ga.

He argued that hard work, thrift and self-help were the keys to improving social status. His views were well received by the Roosevelt and Taft administrations. His fame was spread by his writing, especially his autobiography "Up From Slavery."

Pub Date: 8/02/98

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