Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington, educator and the most prominent black leader of his day, grew up as a slave in Franklin County, Virginia, born to a white slave-holding father and a slave mother. His fine, simple autobiography, Up From Slavery (1901), recounts his successful struggle to better himself. He became renowned for his efforts to improve the lives of African-Americans; his policy of accommodation with whites -- an attempt to involve the recently freed black American in the mainstream of American society -- was outlined in his famous Atlanta Exposition Address (1895).