Booker Taliaferro Washington was born into slavery on April 5, 1856 in southwest Virginia. Initially, like most slaves, he was known by his nickname “Booker” with no middle or surname. But what began as a tragic result of the sin of slavery that stained the Declaration’s promise of God-given liberty for all was overcome by one of the most amazing stories of courage, character and faith one will read in American history. In my estimation, Booker T. Washington is as big a hero as any founder because he overcame one of their sins and through Christ demonstrated forgiveness and respect.
America’s Quadracentennial provides a time when Americans of all persuasions can rejoice together that the seeds planted at her birth were of such quality as to bring forth the civil liberty we still enjoy today. Yet, those conducting the “commemoration” (one cannot say celebration these days) of America’s four hundredth birthday find it difficult to give honor to whom honor is due.
It is common today to view all the European settlements, especially Jamestown and Plymouth, as an invasion. Since we must come to conclusions based upon a bias of historic interpretations (all have such a bias), it may be important to highlight the biased assumptions of some of today’s historians.