About Booker Taliaferro Washington
Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1858 or 59 – November 14, 1915) was an African-American educator, author, orator, advisor to Republican presidents, and black political leader. He was the dominant figure in the African-American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915. Representative of the last generation of black American leaders born in slavery, he spoke on behalf of the large majority of blacks who lived in the South but had lost their ability to vote through disfranchisement by southern legislatures. While his opponents called his powerful network of supporters the "Tuskegee Machine," Washington maintained power because of his ability to gain support of numerous groups: influential whites; the black business, educational and religious communities nationwide; financial donations from philanthropists, and his accommodation to the political realities of the age of Jim Crow segregation.