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During his life, Booker T. Washington was among the most celebrated educators, authors, and statesmen of his day. He walked side by side with Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, H. G. Wells, Theodore Roosevelt, and Andrew Carnegie. He was the first African American to dine with the president in the White House and the first to have tea with the queen of England. He was the first African American to receive honorary degrees from Harvard and Dartmouth, the first African American to be honored on a postage stamp, the first African American to be commemorated on a coin, the first African American to have a naval vessel named for him, and the first African American to have schools named after him. To many African Americans today, Washington points the way toward prosperity and sophistication. Today his spiritual and economic wisdom is being reclaimed as a proven path of racial advance, and his ideas are again gaining currency among upwardly mobile African Americans. In this brief volume, Stephen Mansfield reviews the course of Washington's life and highlights those principles and practices that undergirded the great educator's ability to empower all people to be the best they can be..