The autobiography of Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), an outstanding black man of his time and a spokesperson for his people. He was a leader in ... Show synopsis The autobiography of Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), an outstanding black man of his time and a spokesperson for his people. He was a leader in education, an inspirational public speaker and a prolific writer. He as the son of a black slave and a white man and was born into slavery on a Virginian plantation. He was eventually freed and taught himself to read from "Webster's "Blue-Black Spelling Book", he then walked 500 miles to attend Hampton Institute, for vocational training. At the age of 25 he became the head of Tuskegee Institute, a normal school for blacks, which he went on to develop into a college offering a wide range of instruction in professions as well as in trades. Together with "The Life and Times of Frederick Douglas", this text should prove a prime source book for all those involved in black studies and the history of African-Americans.