Although his mother was illiterate, early on she encouraged Booker to read. At the time it was illegal to educate slaves in schools so Washington's only exposure to them was by carrying Burroughs's daughters' books to school for them. In 1865 the Emancipation Proclamation was read and young Booker, his half-sister and half-brother moved with their mother to Malden, West Virginia. His step-father, after escaping during the Civil War, had found work in a mine. Washington worked in a salt mine, then a coal mine in the mornings and evenings to make up for the time he spent in school during the day.
A key figure in Washington's life was Viola Ruffner, the wife of General Lewis Ruffner, owner of the mines. She hired young Washington to be her houseboy. Although she was a formidable figure, demanding and strict, there soon developed a bond of affection between the two. It was Viola's conservative values that Washington eagerly adopted, they being a strong work ethic, cleanliness and thrift. Viola saw the strong conviction and aspirations of the youth early on.
Washington was soon to take one of the most important journeys of his life. He had heard miners talking about a school for young blacks. He was determined to further his education, and at the age of sixteen set out on a five-hundred mile trip to Hampton, Virginia. It was there, in 1872, that Washington enrolled at the Hampton Normal and... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2006, 11). Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. Dubois. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 11, 2006, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Booker-t-Washington-Vs-Web-Dubois-99593.html
"Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. Dubois" StudyMode.com. 11 2006. 11 2006 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Booker-t-Washington-Vs-Web-Dubois-99593.html>.
"Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. Dubois." StudyMode.com. 11, 2006. Accessed 11, 2006. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Booker-t-Washington-Vs-Web-Dubois-99593.html.