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Booker T Washington Booker Taliaferro Washington was the foremost black educators of the 19th and 20th centuries He also had a major influence on southern race relations and was a dominant figure in black affairs from 1895 until his death in 1915 Booker T Washington was born into slavery in 1858 As a slave Booker did not have a last name and chose Washington his stepfathers name After the Civil War Booker his brother and his mother moved to Malden West Virginia were they went to live with his stepfather whom they had only seen a few times When they arrived in Walden Washington was no more than 10 years old However he immediately went to work with his stepfather at the salt mines feeding the furnace His education started with a Websters Blue Black spelling book that his mother had provided him She hoped it would help him to learn to lead Washington was unable to do much reading at home because he would work from dawn until around 900 at night but during his breaks he would study his reading book teaching himself how to read While working at the salt mines a local school opened up for black people Unfortunately Washington was unable to attend the school because of his value to his family and stayed at the salt mines at the request of his parents Eventually Washington was able to talk to his parents and convince them to let him attend the school for a few hours a day Washington however had a problem His stepfather wanted him to work until 900 am This made it almost impossible for him to make it to class on time so Washington came up with an idea Every morning he would change the clock from a half past eight to nine so that he could make it to class on time Later the young Washington took a job at the
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