OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS) — This summer eight inner city youth will retrace Booker T. Washington’s steps from slavery to the founding of Tuskegee University organized by one of the famed black educator’s descendents.
Sarah O’Neal Rush organized the trip to give the children the chance to reflect on the challenges they face today in the context of the historical struggles of African Americans.
“I’m hoping that they will see these things from the plantation to the university and they will see that anything is possible, that they can do anything.”
Washington became the first black man to dine at the White House in an official capacity. His autobiography, “Up From Slavery” has been in print since his death in 1915.
Rush said her own visits several years ago to the places where her great grandfather was forced to work, and the university he eventually started in 1881, grounded her in a way she did not expect.
The $25,000 pilgrimage this year is the pilot Freedom Journey of the Rush’s non-profit, the Booker T. Washington Empowerment Network.