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Booker T. Washington Playground

W. 107 St. to W. 108 St., Columbus Ave. and Amsterdam Ave.


Directions via Google Maps

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This property is named for civil rights leader Booker T. Washington (1856-1915). Washington was born in Franklin County, Virginia, and lived there for the first nine years of his life. Following the conclusion of the Civil War, the Washington family moved to Malden, West Virginia, where Booker worked in a salt furnace and coal mines. Because of his heavy work schedule, Washington received his early schooling between jobs. From 1872 to 1875, he attended the newly formed Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, now known as Hampton University. In 1879, he returned to Hampton as a professor while simultaneously organizing a night school and industrial training program for Native Americans. In 1881, impressed by the program’s success, Hampton’s founder, Samuel Chapman Armstrong appointed Washington dean of the newly founded Tuskegee University in Alabama. Tuskegee’s success garnered national praise for both Booker T. Washington and the institute’s indust…

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Directions to Booker T. Washington Playground

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