Biography of Booker T Washington

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This book was written by Booker T Washington. He was born in Hale’s Ford, Virginia, he’s not too sure what day he was born but he likes to think that was on April 5 of 1856. The purpose of this book is not only telling Booker T Washington life, but he also wrote this book to be an inspiration for all the Black people to learn and teach how was the life of a slave and to be grateful of what they have now. This real story is about how someone born as a slave ends up being an educator. A 9 years old slave named Booker T. Washington who lived on a plantation in Hale’s Ford, Virginia. He describes his first years as a slave and how hard it was to him to get an education.

As many salves in that time, he had a lack of a family name and a history that would give identity to his existence was difficult to understand. He left the plantation with his mother and stepfather after the Civil War, Booker moved to West Virginia to work in salt and coal mines. At first living a non-slave life was difficult, but Booker wanted to have an education as a normal white kid. His Mom bought him a spelling book where he learned letters while doing work in the mines. Eventually, Booker attends a school that had classes day and night, he managed to attend the school after his daily work on the mines. At work, Washington hears that they are opening a new school for black students called the Hampton Institute and he got crazy to go there for a better education.

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At first, he didn’t have the money to attend Hampton Institute, he needs to work more to raise the money to travel to Hampton, Virginia, it was a 5-hour trip that’s why it was expensive to him to get the train tickets. He wasn’t getting the money that he thought so he stops working at the salt-furnace and begins to work for the owner’s wife, Mrs. Ruffner, as a servant. Mrs. Ruffner teaches him the daily living of civilized person living like order, cleanliness, and promptness. Booker collects the necessary money, so he heads off to Hampton. On his journey to Hampton, the person that he takes to the train station, in the next town stops at a hotel. The hotel manager refuses to give Booker a room because he was black. He didn’t saw another option than sleeping outside. The next day he decided to walk to Richmond, walking for many hours he finally reaches Richmond at night and sleeps on a sidewalk. The next day he found a work loading and unloading ships. He continues to sleep on the sidewalk as he earns money for the rest of his trip to Hampton. Finally, he arrives at Hampton, his general appearance makes him look really poor. The headteacher admits some students ahead of him and finally, the principal to humiliate him asks him to sweep the room and the main hall. He sweeps the room as thoroughly as possible and so impresses the head teacher, then he is admitted to the school and offered a position as a janitor. This job gave him money enough to pay for his room and a portion of his tuition. Hampton teaches the hard work and labor, also teaches him the value and virtue of selflessness. The school’s founder, General Samuel C. Armstrong. Armstrong admires Washington’s selflessness and his strength of leadership.

At Hampton, Booker works hard at his studies and makes him an enthusiastic participant in the school’s debating societies. Booker does not return home to Malden, Virginia until after his second year of school. Washington’s mother dies during this summer and the event throws his family life into complete chaos. Washington considers not returning to Hampton, but his ambition for education is strong. He returns to Hampton and eventually graduates. After graduation, he returns to Malden where he inaugurates a school for the black community. Washington’s curriculum for the school extends beyond “mere book education” to include lessons like Mrs. Ruffner gave him on proper grooming, personal comportment, and personal industry. In addition to teaching the school, Booker T Washington also starts a night-school, multiple debating societies, and establishes a reading room. But after two years teaching in Malden, Washington he decided to go to Washington.

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Biography of Booker T Washington. (2022, Feb 14). Retrieved from

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