April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915
|Booker T. Washington Memorial at Tuskegee University in Alabama. |
"He Lifted the Veil of Ignorance from his people
and pointed the way to progress through Education and Industry."
At the age of nine, after being emancipated from slavery, Booker labors with his family from dawn until dusk in the West Virginia salt works. But despite their hard work and poverty, something is different now: they have a sense of freedom. And despite his constant hunger pangs, Booker has a desire and hunger, more than anything else, for words.
"I see a man reading a newspaper aloud and all doubt falls away. I have found hope, and it is as brown as me.
I see myself the man.
And as I watch his eyes move across the paper, it is as if I know what the black marks mean, as if I am reading.
As if everyone is listening to me. And I hold that thought in my hands.
I will work until I am the best reader in the county.
Children will crowd around me, and I will teach them to read."
Booker T. Washington grew up to be an American educator, author, orator, and political leader. As a representative of the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery, he played an important role in the history of the development of the civil rights movement by speaking on behalf of the large majority of blacks who lived in the South but had lost their ability to vote through disfranchisement by southern legislatures. In 1901, Booker T. Washington was the first African American ever invited to the White House, as a guest of President Theodore Roosevelt.
This book is available from AMAZON, where you can "click to look inside".
Best for ages 5-8.
Read more about the life of Booker T. Washington here.
Click here to go to Marie Bradby's website.