Booker T. Washington's Immense Achievements

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On April 5, 1856, Booker Taliaferro Washington was born into slavery in Hale’s Ford, Virginia on a local plantation. Being born into slavery, it was quite clear that Washington would never amount to much. Knowing this though, did not stop him from dreaming about the many achievements he wanted to accomplish. Washington’s passion to learn is what transformed him into, not a lowly slave, but instead: an educator, a writer and the founder of the Tuskegee Institute. Through these achievements though, Booker T. Washington became above all else, a leader. Booker T. Washington was a young boy when the Civil War ended and his family was granted freedom in 1965. Washington recalls, in his autobiography Up From Slavery, all the hardships and struggles that his family endured following their emancipation. Following their release, Booker T. Washington and his family relocated to West Virginia, where he would begin his schooling. In order to afford this, as well as provide for his family, Washington was forced to work in the salt mines, along with much of the other youth in the area. “From the time that I can remember having any thoughts about anything, I recall that I had an intense longing to learn to read. I determined, when quite a small child, that, if I accomplished nothing else in life, I would in some way get enough education to enable me to read common books and newspapers.” (Washington, 46) At a young age he realized he wanted to be educated and would not let any challenges get in his way. As he continued his education, Washington learned of the Hampton Institute, which specialized in the education of freed slaves. After being accepted in 1872, Booker T. Washington moved east in order to attend the Hampton Institute. While taking cl... ... middle of paper ... ...though, was throughout the course of his life; Washington secretly funded many legal challenges on segregation. It is undeniable that Booker T. Washington was an incredibly successful African American figure for the time. It is clear that the way he went about achieving this greatness is through the philosophy and ideology in which he preached. Although many African American’s during this time period did not fully understand what Washington was attempting teach them, it’s clear now that he was simply showing them, through education, hard work, and dedication anything can be achieved, fact that was proven by none other than himself. Having gone from a lowly slave, to an educator to one of the most influential people of his time, he opened up doors for all African Americans and proved to them that through the philosophy he was teaching, anything is truly possible.

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