The Life and Legacy of Booker T. Washington
Recorded on April 5, 2005
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium
On April 5, Booker T. Washington was born into slavery on a
207-acre tobacco farm in Franklin County, Virginia, near Roanoke.
He believed the year to be 1856, but was never entirely certain.
After sojourns in West Virginia and at the Hampton Institute in
Virginia's Tidewater region, he arrived at the Tuskegee Institute
in Alabama. Named Tuskegee's President in 1881, Washington made it
one of the leading facilities for black education in the United
States. By the 1890s, he was the most prominent African-American in
the country, and a number of Presidents, as well as business
leaders, relied on him as an advisor. Washington's autobiography,
Up From Slavery, published in 1901, followed the American
tradition of the self-made man's account of his success. He died in
Few Americans today appreciate - and fewer still are knowledgeable
of - the true legacy of Booker T. Washington. On the anniversary of
this distinguished American's birth, we are privileged to host his
great-granddaughter, Gloria Jackson, who will provide her unique
perspective on the message of personal responsibility, values and
character that he held so dear.