Tag Archives: Booker T Washington

Booker T. Washington

220px-Booker_T_Washington_retouched_flattened-cropIt’s easier to get freed from slavery than to free your mind from slavery. Just look at the 23 kajillion times the Israelite former slaves complained about being freed from slavery and wanted to go back to slavery in Egypt.

When you see that, you realize how extraordinary was the life of Booker T. Washington. He was born in slavery, but his mind soared far away from his oppressed beginnings to the launching of theĀ  black higher institution of learning Tuskegee Institute. He literally built it out of bricks of clay made by the first imagesstudents.

Freed by the end of Civil War, Washington moved to West Virginia where he worked in salt furnaces and coal mines to cost his education. An indefatigable leader, he took the reins of the fledgling Tuskegee and drove it relentlessly into prominence. Thousands of blacks, who were tuskegee-instituterefused admittance at “white” institutions, graduated from Tuskegee.

A dynamic orator, resourceful, a master deal-maker, Washington wheedled and images-1cajoled finances and genius for his institution. The stand-out scientist George Washington Carver was persuaded to join Tuskegee and, when Thomas Edison would entice him away, to stay.

To overcome insurmountable odds, to triumph through wit, wisdom and work, to line up allies and disarm enemies all in the service of a greater cause, this is the remarkable legacy of the man who remains an inspiration for generations. To live only for self is such a waste when you could do so much good.