Essay on Booker T. Washington: Fighter for the Black Man

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Booker T. Washington: Fighter for the Black Man Booker T. Washington was a man beyond words. His perseverance and will to work were well known throughout the United States. He rose from slavery, delivering speech after speech expressing his views on how to uplift America's view of the Negro. He felt that knowledge was power, not just knowledge of "books", but knowledge of agricultural and industrial trades. He felt that the Negro would rise to be an equal in American society through hard work. Washington founded a school on these principles, and it became the world's leader in agricultural and industrial education for the Negro. As the world watched him put his heart and soul into his school, Tuskegee Institute, he gained great respect…show more content…
Life was tough in Malden. "Drinking, gambling, quarrels, fights, and shockingly immoral practices were frequent." Washington himself got a job in the salt furnace and often had to go to work at four in the morning. Washington longed for an education. A school for Negro's opened in Malden, but his step-father would not let him leave work to attend. Washington was so determined to get an education that he arranged with the teachers to give him classes at night. He was later allowed to attend in the morning, but would then work all afternoon and into the evening. Booker did not have a last name until he went to school. "When he realized that all of the other children at the school had a 'second' name, and the teacher asked him his, he invented the name Washington." A great influence on Washington was Viola Ruffner, the wife of the owner of the salt furnace. Washington became her house boy, where he learned the importance of cleanness and hard work, and pride in a job well done. He would use these principles for the rest of his life. "The lessons I learned in the home of Mrs. Ruffner were as valuable to me as any education I have ever gotten anywhere since," he later commented. Booker heard of a big school for Negro's in Hampton, Virginia, and he decided to go there. In 1872, at the age of sixteen, he set out on the 400 mile journey to Hampton, traveling most of the way by foot. When he finally arrived, he was so ragged and dirty that he almost wasn't
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