Volume 48 - Number 2 - 2007 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2007.02013



This study identified events during the life of Booker Taliaferro Washington and during the early years of the TuskegeeNormal andIndustrialSchool that may have contributed to the development of agricultural and industrial education for African Americans.Washington's experiences as a former slave and his observations of life for African Americans in the South in the late 1800's may have shaped his philosophy of agricultural and industrial education. Washington believed that agricultural and industrial education contributed to the mental development of students, helped students secure the skills necessary to earn a living, and taught students the dignity of work. African American students wanted an education, but they often could not afford to attend school because they lacked the funds to pay tuition. The labor system and agricultural and industrial education provided the means by which they could labor for their education. It is concluded thatWashington saw that the need for farmers, skilled artisans, and machinists was equally important to the academic preparation of lawyers, physicians, and professors. Agricultural and industrial education met this need. Under Washington's leadership, Tuskegee Institute offered 37 industrial occupations on the campus and school farms.

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