Booker T. Washington and the Tuskegee Institute

Moments In Civil Rights History

On September 19, 1881, classes began at the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. The school began as a state funded educational instruction for black students. Booker T. Washington, who was born into slavery, was chosen as headmaster and served until his death in 1915. Washington instructed the inaugural class of 30 students out of a one-room shanty. By 1915, the school had over 1500 students.