Lifting the Veil

Image of famous statue at Tuskegee University.  Washington lift veil from former slave.
Lifting the Veil of Ignorance statue at Tuskegee University.

NPS Photo


“A race, like an individual, lifts itself up by lifting others up.”

Booker T. Washington

The problem of social and political equality remained, although the Civil War released four million people of African descent from the bonds of slavery. Above all other American principles, freedom and democracy continued to be the most sought after ideals. The struggle for equality would become a challenge that Booker T. Washington, a former slave, would face head on.

During this program at Booker T. Washington National Monument, students explore and discuss the reality of an uncertain future faced by millions of freed men. While exploring the tobacco field, students compare and contrast sharecropping and convict lease.

Discussing Washington’s determination to secure an education, his commitment to teaching others and his ascension to national leadership, students learn how education improved Washington’s life and how he used it to better the lives of people he touched and influenced. Booker T. Washington’s struggle up from slavery is a role model for children today.


Last updated: February 5, 2024

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