On this day: February 24, 2017, we remember:
Booker Taliaferro Washington an educator, author, and orator. Born April 5, 1856, Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became a leading voice of former slaves and their descendants.
In his autobiography, Up From Slavery, Washington details his personal experiences as a child slave during the Civil War, to his difficulties and obstacles to get an education and his work establishing vocational schools Washington was also a controversial figure in his own lifetime, and W. E. B. Du Bois, among others, criticized some of his views.
Washington became the first leader of Tuskegee Institute, the forerunner of Tuskegee University in Alabama. He led the institution for the rest of his life and became a prominent national leader among African Americans, with considerable influence with wealthy white philanthropists and politicians.
Washington served as an advisor to Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Washington was the dominant leader in the African American community. Washington, as the guest of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1901, was the first African American ever invited to the White House.