HomeArts & LitBooker T. Washington's Legacy

Booker T. Washington's Legacy

African-American educator, author and orator Booker T. Washington died today in 1915. Born into slavery in Virginia, Washington went on to be named the first leader of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1881. He was only 25 years old at the time, but helped to grown the school into a major university and also raised funds for hundreds of community schools and institutions of higher education for blacks. He led the school until his death and is buried in the cemetery there. Learn more about Washington and his literary ties in a sneak peek of Tuskegee’s entry in the Deep South Literary Trail App. Click here to download.

Tuskegee University
Upholding Higher Education
Founded in 1881 by a freed slave and a former slaveholder, Tuskegee University quickly flourished under the leadership of Booker T. Washington , whose legacy can be seen all over the 5,000-acre campus today.Featuring a variety of landmarks, Tuskegee University offers several sights for literary-minded visitors. There’s the Ford Motor Co. Library/Learning Resource Center, which houses more than 310,000 volumes of books and journals and thousands of newspapers, magazines, micrograms and government documents.Areas like the Washington Room offer collections of works written by and concerning African-Americans, while the Rare Book Room comprises limited editions, autographed books and abolitionist literature.

Washington fans can tour The Oaks , his home from 1900 until his death in 1915. The National Park Service has preserved its original furnishings, most of which were made by local craftsmen.

Insider tip: The remains of Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver, former heard of the university’s Department of Agriculture, can be found in the on-site cemetery.

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