Booker T. Washington was arguably the most famous and influential African American of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His life was an improbable and inspiring climb from the slave cabin where he was born to the college president’s mansion where he died. He used his own life story—detailed in the bestselling autobiography “Up from Slavery”—as a model for the qualities he saw as most necessary for blacks in post-Reconstruction America: diligence, commitment to education, physical labor, self-help and a willingness to work within the status quo. Despite his status and his successes, Washington was never without critics, and a century after his death, many view his approach to African-American advancement as flawed at best. Here are eight things you might not know about Booker T. Washington.
Find out more about his life and work in this video.