By Linda Lewis
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.”
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.