Fighters for Freedom

Booker T. Washington Legend


Born a slave, Booker T. Washington (1856–1915) studied at the Hampton Institute in Virginia and went on to become the first director of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Washington was a lecturer and writer and published his autobiography Up From Slavery in 1901.

Johnson's painting of Washington shows the famous African-American leader educating a group of students. Johnson also depicts a shovel, wheels, a plow, books, and writing implements to symbolized the "tools" that Washington felt were necessary to advance African Americans after emancipation from slavery.

Booker T. Washington Legend
about 1944–45
oil on plywood
82.9 x 64.2 cm (32 5/8 x 25 1/4 in.)
Gift of the Harmon Foundation

LOOK! THINK! IMAGINE!

Read more about Booker T. Washington and look for other Web resources about this famous leader. Have a class discussion about schools such as the Tuskegee Institute and why they were so important to African Americans during this period in history.


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