Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), born a slave, was an educator who believed that freedom for African Americans would come through personal education, self-help, and economic advancement rather than fighting for integration and equal rights.
He advised blacks to take responsibility for their individual situations, and he opposed civil rights. Militant blacks disagreed with his views.
In 1881 he was chosen to run Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, a new school for black students.
Under his leadership, Tuskegee became a world famous center for agricultural research.