More Than Anything Else The Rest of the Story

Category: Education

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The rest of the story!

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Booker T Washington 1856-1915 Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in Virginia in 1856, and moved with his family just after the Civil War to West Virginia, where Washington worked in the salt mines. However, he fight to get an education that would take him away from the hard labor to college at Hampton Institute in Virginia and later to Alabama as the president of Tuskegee Institute.

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His childhood was one of privation, poverty, slavery and back-breaking work. Born in 1856, he was from birth the property of James Burroughs of Virginia. Not much is known of his father - even by Washington himself. His mother, Jane, raised him, and he was put to work as early as possible. Since it was illegal for a slave to learn to read and write Washington received no education.

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In1862, during the Civil War, President Lincoln issued The Emancipation Proclamation , freeing slaves in the South. Of course it could not be enforced until the end of the Civil War in 1865. The former slaves were at first jubilant about being free, but it quickly became apparent that there was no place for most of them to go. Washington's step-father was very fortunate because he found work packing salt in West Virginia. Jane moved herself and her children to join her husband. The nine-year old Washington spent long, exhausting days packing salt.

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Like many blacks after Emancipation, Washington wanted an education. So despite the exhausting days he used his free time to go to school. But it was not enough. When he was 16 he decided that he wanted to go to Hampton Institute in Virginia. He did not know if he could get in, and if he got in he didn't know how he was going to pay for it, but in 1872 he showed up on their doorstep flat broke and hungry.

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Washington later become the president of Tuskegee Institute in 1881. T he school hardly existed, yet largely through his efforts it became one of the leading facilities for black education in the United States. By the 1890s, Washington was the most prominent African-American in the country, and a number of Presidents, as well as business leaders, relied on Washington as an advisor.

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His personality is unique, his work has been exceptional, his circle of friendships has constantly widened; Blacks, through his writings, speeches and work, have felt a hopefulness, and he himself has been an example of what hard work and effort can accomplish; an example to all people regardless of race, aspiring to a better life and to doing good for others.

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There are people whose abilities and energy take them far past any limitations life tries to place on them. Booker T. Washington was one of those people. He rose up from slavery and illiteracy to become the foremost educator and leader of black Americans at the turn of the century..

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So what do you want more than anything else?

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