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Booker T. Washington Catches the Late Train

America's Forgotten Heroes

The Daily Wire


53.9K Ratings

🗓️ 4 July 2021

⏱️ 57 minutes

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Born into slavery on a Virginia plantation, Booker T. Washington’s relentless pursuit of an education would eventually bring him such renown that he would become the first Black American ever invited to a private dinner at the White House. Surrounded by bigotry, his advancement looked by what seemed overwhelming obstacles at every turn, his superhuman discipline, relentless persistence and willingness to work not only earned himself a first-rate education; his attitude had been so impressive, and his achievements so notable, that he was offered the position of Director of the Tuskegee Institute, the first source of higher education for blacks in the deep south. He arrived at Tuskegee to discover that there was no Tuskegee Institute: no buildings, no property and no staff. Through sheer force of character, he found a way to to raise a magnificent brick structure on the ground of a formerly abandoned plantation, and would start a partnership that would eventually be responsible for over five thousand individual school buildings for black students all across the South. His message of hard work, self-reliance, good will and personal discipline won him the respect, admiration and assistance of the same Southern Whites that had once owned him as property, and his example of self-respect and friendly cooperation is one we could use very much today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

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Booker T. Washington, who died in the early morning hours of November 14, 1915, at age,


well nobody knows how old he was. He leased the ball. He never had a birthday because


he never knew the day on which he was born. He couldn't say if he was a Torres or Aquarius


or an Aries or a Scorpio because no one ever recorded the month in which he was born. He didn't


even really know which year he'd been born in either but he was reasonably sure it was either


1855 or 1856. The white family that owned the plantation where he was born near Hillsford, Virginia


also owned the people that work on it. They owned Booker T. Washington. There was no question about


that. He was their property. He could be bought or sold at their pleasure. He had a dollar value.


Low at the time of his birth but as he grew he would become more expensive. He'd reach his peak


selling price around the age of 17 and hold there until about 30. At which point the cost of buying


Booker T. Washington would begin to decline. If he lived into his 60s you could have owned him for


next to nothing. But all you have to do is read the first two or three pages of this man's autobiography


to realize that Booker T. Washington was not a slave. He had never been a slave and would never for


a single day of his life think or act or feel like a slave. Now he knew as well as any of the people


around him that he was in fact in bondage in the accounting books of the plantation owner he,


his mother and all the rest of them would be listed as a form of livestock like a horse or a pig.


But every single page of his autobiography up from slavery radiates such humanity, such wisdom


and compassion, such unimpeachable virtue and such incandescent intelligence that you immediately


know in your bones. That the words you are reading might have been written by a man in bondage,


a man legally owned by someone else. But words like these, thoughts like these could never have come


from a slave. You see up from slavery by Booker T. Washington born sometime around 1855 or 56


isn't about Black people and it isn't about white people. It's about slavery, mental slavery,


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