Legend Spotlights

Legend Spotlights

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Booker T. Washington

Booker T.

Booker T.
Booker T. Washington was born on April 5, 1856 in Hale's Ford Virginia. Washington was amongst the last generation born into slavery. His family gained freedom in 1865 under the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1881 Washington became the first leader of the Tuskegee Institute. Washington became a conduit for funding educational programs for African Americans. He was able to persuade wealthy whites to fund his endeavors to improve conditions for African Americans in the United States. Washington founded the National Negro Business League (NNBL) in 1901. During his lifetime Washington published five books with the help of his longtime advisor Timothy Thomas Fortune. His book "Up from Slavery" became a best seller in 1901. That same year President Theodore Roosevelt invited Washington to dine with him at the White House. He became the first African American to be invited to the White House when president Theodore Roosevelt extended him a dinner invitation.During all his travels Washington remained president of Tuskegee Institute until his death. Washington died on November 14, 1954 at the age of 59. On April 7, 1940, Washington became the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.

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