Booker Taliaferro Washington was born on April 5,1856 in Franklin County, Virginia. Washington gained an early appreciation for the values of family and education. Booker had been blessed with an intact family, with one exception of having a white father who never contributed to his life and whose identity Washington never acknowledged. From the lifelong inspiration of his mother, Jane, Booker learned lasting lessons of courage, perseverance, resourcefulness, and postive concepts, which influenced many of his later philossophies and attitudes about women and family.

Washington had spent nine years in slavery, with the last five years surrounded by the physical, political, economic, and moral issues of the Civil War. According to child psychologist Arnold Gesell, the nine years that Washington spent in slavery were crucial to his development and ideology. To look at Booker's life you have to incorporate these developmental years because they greatly impact how he would pioneer educational progress for black adults.

After the Emancipation, the family moved to West Virginia where it struggled to achieve a normal life. Young Booker attended a school for the children of ex-slaves while at the same time, holding down a full time job in the mines. As a cooperative, hardworking young man he secured a job cleaning and doing other tasks around the house of one of the mine owners. This was less strenuous than working in the mines, and it left him more energy to pursue his studies. From the peculiar instituntion of slavery Washington had emerged with a strong sense of self and an unshakable identity of his race. His faith and racial pride elevated his unique leadership and gave him strong direction.

Booker T. Washington through his teachings and writings had a profound impact on the social and polotical conditions of African Americans. A strong portion of Washington's contributions came from his straight forward philosophies such as the one indicating social change. Having a first hand struggle with freedom, social change was a ground floor philosophy to Booker. Regardless of race or color he felt that people must initiate their journeys and experiences on the ground floor. They cannot expect to enter the mainstream of society right away. Although before they enter into society they should establish a strong hierarchy of needs. In the Washington hierarchy, education is the salvation, second only to freedom itself. He believed that survival and safety needs must be accomplished before more complex needs of belonging, esteem and self expression can be realized.

Washington's contribution's as a teacher began in February 1879 when General Armstrong wrote Washington a letter inviting him to be the postgraduate speaker at Hampton's May graduation exercises. The idea was to show what clear heads and common sense colored graduates had attained during school. Washington's speech, " The Force that Wins," greatly impressed the students, teachers, and reporters. So pleased with the results Armstrong agreed with Washington's request for twenty five dollars per month for services as a teacher and an assistant in study hour.

The Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute had been started after the Civil War by General Samuel Armstrong to train ex slaves to lead their people to find land and homes. The institute stressed to teach the students manners, cleanliness, morality, and practical skills to be able to make a living in society. Then in 1881 after some time as a teacher at Hampton Institute, Washington was invited to Tuskegee, Alabama, to found a similar school like the one that General Armstrong established. However no buildings had been prepared for the proposed school, Washington opened Tuskegee Institute in a leaky old Methodist Episcopal church on July 4, 1881 with a meager 2,000 dollar annual state fund. Later with all expenses paid by Hampton, Alabama Hall was built to establish the groundwork and much needed assistance to the Tuskegee Institute. The evolution of Tuskegee Institute's adult education program was unique in that the Institution began as an adult education movement. With the improvement of intellectual and industrial skills, adults from the institute would become better parents, workers, citizens, and human beings in the general society. Due to Washington's Tuskegee institute and other similar schools there were beginning to show some signs of improvement. Steel mills were hiring blacks as engine toppers of helpers in pipe fitting, blast