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Booker T. Washington was born on April 5th, 1856 in Hale’s Ford Virginia. Washington was born into slavery by Jane, an enslaved African-American on the Burroughs plantation of southwest Virginia. She later fled to West Virginia in 1865 when the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. In 1878, Booker T. Washington attended Wayland Seminary (Virginia Union University) in Washington, D.C. After graduated in 1881, Washington returned to Hampton, and taught at Tuskegee University. Washington then went as far as buying old plantation land and over decades built an institution in its place. Washington begin to teach more and more young black students the skills for farming and trade in the south. He soon raised more funds to build smaller community schools of high education just for blacks. Washington’s institution attracted many talented black students, including young botanist named George Washington Carver.
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In 1901, Washington went on to write an autobiography titled Up from Slavery, where he detailed his young life as a plantation slave. He then transitions into his personal life with his wife and one child. Washington advocated a “go slow” approach to demanding equality to avoid backlash from whites. People like W.E.B Dubois, did not approve of that idea and pushed for more educational opportunities for young blacks now. Washington began to work with many national white politicians and industry leaders. He developed a way to persuade wealthy men and along with Dubois, they organized the “Negro exhibition.” The exhibition demonstrated African Americans' positive contributions to United States' society and displayed them in the 1900 Exhibition Universelle in Paris. With more and more connection with politicians and wealthy, Washington slowly pushed for equal rights in education for black men and women.

Washington remained principal of Tuskegee, despite his increasing fame. In 1915, his health declined and he later collapsed to his death on November14, 1915 at the age of 59. It was later revealed that his death was connected to congestive heart failure. His death did not stop the push for equality for education, and education for blacks expanded.

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