April 5 in America’s History brings me to the birthdate of two significant individuals who life’s accomplishments were exceptional. The first individual was the warrior of Charleston, South Carolina, Robert Smalls, born into slavery in 1939. Robert Smalls became a Civil War hero when he managed to take the Confederate ship The Planter and hand it over to Union Naval forces. Robert Smalls, not only became that Civil War hero but he also became on the elected black congressional representatives during reconstruction. Yes, Robert Smalls exemplified during his life what a true warrior was.
The second individual came to be known as the Wizard of Tuskegee, he was probably the most recognized American for a period of more than 20 years. Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in 1856 and during his lifetime he founded the most significant college for Americans of African Descent in this nation. We could talk endlessly about the many life attributes of Mr. Washington but my most rewarding historical note about Mr. Washington is that he wanted our ancestors to achieve economic power along with educational excellence.
Both Robert Smalls and Booker T Washington experienced many incidents of racial degradation during their lifetime. But both men fought the good fight towards our ancestors reaching levels of achievements. So today, April 5, 2020, I remember the names and life memories of Robert Smalls and Booker T. Washington.