Booker T. Washington later founded and served as president of what is now Tuskegee University, an academic and vocational school for blacks during Reconstruction. He was to become one of America's foremost educators of his time. He also recruited George Washington Carver to teach and conduct research at Tuskegee.
Active in politics, he was routinely consulted by Congressmen and Presidents about the appointment of blacks to political positions. He worked and socialized with many white politicians and notables. He argued that self-reliance was the key to improved conditions for blacks in the US. However, for his advice to blacks to "compromise" and accept segregation, other black activists of the time, such as W. E. B. DuBois, labeled him an "accomodator".
Dr. Washington was instrumental in the creation of over 100 small schools for the education and betterment in Negroes in Virginia and other portions of the South, funded partly by his friend millionaire industrialist and philanthropist Henry Huttleston Rogers, who rose to become a Vice President of John Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust and was the builder of the Virginian Railway. Although Rogers died the month before, Dr. Washington rode in Rogers' personal train car on a special excursion tour along the newly completed Virginian Railway in June, 1909.
His autobiography, Up from Slavery, published in 1901, was a bestseller. He was also the first African-American ever invited to the White House as the guest of a President--which led to a scandal for the inviting President, Theodore Roosevelt.
"Think about it: We went into slavery pagans; we came out Christians. We went into slavery pieces of property; we came out American citizens. We went into slavery with chains clanking about our wrists; we came out with the American ballot in our hands... Notwithstanding the cruelty and moral wrong of slavery, we are in a stronger and more hopeful condition, materially, intellectually, morally, and religiously, than is true of an equal number of black people in any other portion of the globe." -- from Up From Slavery