Booker T Washington's Impact On African American Education

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Prior to the start of the Civil War, if you were born to a slave, you became one. This was the case for many children, including Booker T. Washington. Booker’s mother, Jane, was a cook for a plantation owner named James Burroughs; his father, however, was an unknown white man, most likely from a plantation somewhere else. At an early age, Booker started carrying 100 pound sacks of grain to the plantation’s mill. This was very difficult work for someone his age, and as a result he was often beaten for not completing his duties. His first discovery of education occurred while he was working. He looked into the schoolhouse window, only to see children sitting and desks while reading. Booker wanted so badly to be like these children, but at the …show more content…
When he died it had more than 100 well equipped buildings, 1,500 students, 200 faculty members that taught 38 trades and professions, and a nearly $2 million endowment. Booker put so much of himself into the school, with some main focuses being patience, enterprise, and thrift. He taught that economic success for African Americans would take time, and that subordination to whites was a necessary evil until African Americans could prove their worthiness of full economic and political rights. Booker believed that if African Americans worked hard and secured financial independence and cultural advancement, they would be accepted into the white community over time. In 1895, Booker presented the “Atlanta Compromise” speech. In this speech he said that African Americans should accept social segregation as long as whites allowed them economic progress, educational opportunity, and justice in the courts; this made some African Americans mad, especially in the north. People like W.E.B. Du Bois criticized Washington for not demanding equality, and later became a mediator for full and equal rights in every aspect of a person’s life. And although Booker had done much to assist the African American society, there was some truth in the

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