Booker T. Washington

From a modest beginning in a one room shanty located near Butler’s Chapel AME Zion Church, Tuskegee University rose to national prominence under the leadership of its first president, Booker T. Washington (1856-1915).  Washington was a highly skilled organizer and fund-raiser who counseled U.S. presidents and was a strong advocate of African American farmers and businesses.  He worked tirelessly in developing methods to aid African Americans to succeed by establishing a variety of on-campus vocational classes including carpentry, brick-making, sewing, millinery, animal husbandry and gardening.  Students were also required to complete coursework toward general diplomas which included mathematics, English and history.  Student enrollment was not limited to rural Macon County and the South, but was international in composition. This section contains materials specific to Booker T. Washington.