I often get asked about how the Booker T. Washington National Monument came to be, so here is a little more history for you.
Born in April of 1856, Booker T. Washington lived in a time that slavery was widespread. In addition, the Civil War began when Booker was only five years old. Adjusting to the effects of war while living as a slave on the Burroughs tobacco plantation in Piedmont, Virginia is a highlight of Booker T. Washington’s autobiography entitled “Up From Slavery.”
The Civil War freed four million slaves, one of which was Booker T. Washington. After the war, Washington went on to pursue an education. His newly found freedom led him to creating his legacy of becoming an author, orator, educator and an advisor to U.S. Presidents. He became a powerful voice for African Americans as he believed that all African Americans who had been enslaved should have the opportunity to gain an education. Dr. Booker T. Washington also helped to establish the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, which is known today as Tuskegee University.
The Booker T. Washington National Monument
Managed by the United States National Park Service, visitors to the monument get an authentic look at old time plantation buildings, farm animals and demonstrations. Open year around from 9am to 5pm, excluding major holidays, the Booker T. Washington National Monument is a great place to visit and get a glimpse into the past.
Aside from the Monument itself paying tribute to the works of Dr. Washington, The National Park Service has specific events and programs designed to highlight Booker T. Washington’s mark on American history. Perhaps one of the more famous quotes from Dr. Washington was: “No race or people ever got upon its feet without severe and constant struggle, often in the face of the greatest discouragement.”