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Profile of the Day: Booker T. Washington

Profile of the Day: Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington

On this day in 1856, Booker T. Washington was born. Regarded as one of the most influential African-American educators of the late 19th century, Washington founded the Tuskegee Institute, known today as Tuskegee University, in Alabama.

Washington was born into slavery in Virginia and was the son of Jane, a slave, and an unknown white man. He was named Booker Taliaferro and later adopted the surname Washington. After emancipation, his family moved to West Virginia and although they were poor, Washington made it a priority to gain an education. He strongly believed education was the key to helping African-Americans gain financial and cultural independence after the Civil War.

At the age of 25, Washington was named the head of the Tuskegee Institute. Under his leadership, African American students were taught practical vocational skills to help them succeed. He remained the head of the Tuskegee Institute until his death on November 14, 1915.

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Image: Library of Congress

Source: Geni.com

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