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The Rare Ability to Create Something of Value

By Linda Lewis

Full Panaramic

Booker T. Washington, who founded Tuskegee Institute in 1881 at the age of 25, is one of my heroes.  He was a contemporary of George Washington Carver, another of my heroes.  By the time of Booker T. Washington’s death in 1915, Tuskegee Institute had grown to 2,000 students and a faculty of 200 teaching 38 trades.  In 1905, visitors came to Tuskegee from 16 countries, including Africa, India, China, Japan, Poland and Russia.

Booker T. Washington was born a slave in 1856 and emancipated in 1863.  His pursuit of education as a small child is chronicled in his autobiography, Up from Slavery, which I highly recommend.  His philosophy of educating the newly freed black men and women was simple:  If a person contributes something of value to his community, he will be valued by his community.

Harvard President Charles W. Eliot spoke at Tuskegee’s 25th anniversary in 1906, stating:

“By 1905, Tuskegee produced more self-made millionaires than Harvard, Yale and Princeton combined.”

Booker T. Washington stated:

“Anyone can seek a job, but it requires a person of rare ability to create a job…What we should do in our schools is to turn out fewer job seekers and more job creators.”

Booker T Portrait

We see this entrepreneurial spirit almost daily at CreatiVenture Law:  The spirit of creating something of value.  And my job is to help entrepreneurs protect what they create.  That’s what makes my law practice so exciting.




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