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Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington (1856–1915) was an American educator, author, orator, and adviser to multiple presidents of the United States. Born into slavery, he became the leading voice of former slaves and their descendants, and was one of the founders of the National Negro Business League. His long-term goal was to end the disenfranchisement of the vast majority of African Americans, who at that time still lived in the South. After his death, his legacy was seen as controversial by the civil-rights community, which criticised him for accommodating excessively to white supremacy.

Photograph cr: Frances Benjamin Johnston; restored by Adam Cuerden

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