Booker T. Washington

by Melanie from Brooklyn

To me, a hero is someone who is admired for their accomplishments in which they've overcome a lot to get to. Someone I believe that fits this definition is Booker T. Washington. Washington, born 1895, went through a lot in order to be put down in history as a great man. I credit him in grand appreciation for overcoming so much in order to make it to the man he is remembered for today.

I feel the way I do about Booker T. Washington, for the many things he's known for in order for his remembrance to this day. Washington was always devoted to education, ever since a young age, but couldn't obtain it because he was a slave. Yet he, "left home and walked 500 miles to Hampton Normal Agricultural Institute in Virginia" (, to get his education along with working to keep it. Washington was also one of the first African American to be honored in being invited to the White House. Washington also founded various things worthy of being remembered today. Lastly, he wrote Up from Slavery, an autobiography which influenced many of his readers' lives.

For many reason why, Booker T. Washington was well admired for being a leader to black culture. To start off he was black/African American. In addition to being black in his time, Washington was also a slave working and living in Franklin County, Virginia. This put up many boundaries for him like being unable to get an education at a young age. Washington also was a civil rights activist, enriching those around him. Later on in life Washington founded the National Negro Business League in 1990. Continuing along this Negro achievement path is how Washington was able to acquire such a high status widely known around the world.

Being acknowledged as "the most famous black man in America between 1895 and 1915" (PBS) - a rank you receive for doing some of the things Washington did for influencing the world. One thing is that Washington founded the Tuskegee University. This University is one of Washington's great projects that he put his sweat and time into that is still thriving today. Plus, Washington stuck to what he believed in, despite backlashing controversy and malicious critics. After publicly broadcasting his beliefs on African American disfranchisement and rights, he was faced with a firestorm from black communities. Yet, that didn't stop him and he continued on as an educator and civil rights activist.

Throughout history, Booker T. Washington has been acknowledged for his constructive contribution to black culture and the world. Doing things such as being an effective educator and activist represents some of the reasons as to why I look up to him as a hero. Washington fought through things like slavery, defending himself against controversy and so much more. Although Washington is gone, he is still living throughout the halls of Tuskegee University.

Page created on 3/25/2013 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/25/2013 12:00:00 AM

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