Booker T Washington and the Jim Crow Era

Booker T Washington and the Jim Crow Era





The Life of Booker T Washington

Booker T was a young black male born in the year 1856 at the shackles of the slave trade in a small farm in Virginia. He was an influential person at a time when the black man was submitted under the umbrella of slavery. He was able to work in the salt furnaces and perhaps the coal mines just to enable him to get some money to finance his education at that time. Moreover, he managed to walk for a long distance unit he was tired, broke and all that to get educated and learn the wisdom of the whites which was not easily assessable to the blacks at that time. However, he got the education he wanted (Norrell, 2009).

Career life

Booker T Washington after his hard studies he began to teach at Hampton which was being led by General Samuel Armstrong. He worked there for some time until one time after the chapel General Samuel called him aside and told him about some white some letter he had received earlier to recommend a white principle for a colored school they were to open. Booker T knew and grabbed the opportunity and went to Tuskegee where he started again to work. He managed to convince and won the trust of the whites by starting the school on a broken building. Most of the whites did not believe the person would be industrious. He later becomes a hero in September 1995 where he was invited to deliver a speech at the Cotton States and the international exposition in the town of Atlanta (Zimmerman, 2010).

Moreover, he becomes an advisor to President Theodore and President Williams Taft, where he assisted them on handling the affairs of the blacks on behalf of the government.  Besides being the advisor of both the two presidents, he was also the advisor of the industrialists who had the role of controlling the finances of the black schools located in the south. He was able to work for the whites, though he was not to the idea of the whites treating the blacks as slaves. He wrote his book ‘’ Ghostwritten’’ in the year 1991 and also managed to be the founder of the Negro business league in the area. He lived a good life having some haters from the same skin color thinking that he was walking and supporting the whites in mistreating the blacks. However, his fellow who understood the ideas embraced him as a black hero who is a leader. He then passed away in the year 1915 after all he gained and achieved in life (Norrell, 2009).

The role of Booker T in the book

These are one of the narratives that were written by Jim Crow to assist the society in getting the knowledge of what happened some years back. The narrative narrates the life story events of the person and perhaps with the roles that he played while he lived. In the stories, he played the role of showing the whites that though the blacks are considered to be people without hope and useless, they still have the brains that can be needed by the society (Zimmerman, 2010). The blacks were kept under slavery and pushed to work under the supremacy of the whites in the region. The writer wanted to pass a message to the people that human beings are all equal and we should not go down upon on people based on the skin color. Booker T managed to be a teacher, an advisor to the government and yet he was still a black man.

Moreover, he demonstrated the message of handwork and persistency which brings hope and future. He was able to work in the mines and other worse places to look for money to get the education even with circumstances at that time (Zimmerman, 2010). Moreover, he walked miles to get the education, and he didn’t care about the terrible opposition at that moment. Jim Crow wanted to educate the society today, hard work and persistence in whatever you believe in is very essential and can push you to whatever destiny you want in life. After all the struggles in life, he managed to be a teacher and perhaps a hero. It was through education that he got the knowledge to deliver the speech at the Exposition in Atlanta.

He was also used to represent people in the society who are looking worm. He worked for the government who is against his people and failed to criticize them or perhaps stop them from enslaving the blacks (Smock, 2009). Perhaps, he wanted to please the two parties, and that is why one group of the blacks thought that he had betrayed them by working with the whites ‘’ enemies.’’ Ideally, the society is made up of such kind of people who wants to be right on each side and wants to please everybody in the society. They are mostly called the non-criticizers.


Norrell, R. J. (2009). Up from History: The life of Booker T. Washington. Harvard University Press.

Smock, R. W. (2009). Booker T. Washington: Black Leadership in the Age of Jim Crow. Ivan R. Dee.

Zimmerman, A. (2010). Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, the German Empire, and the Globalization of the New South. Princeton University Press.