Booker T. Washington was a popular spokesman and leader of the African American community. Washington was born in 1956 in Hale’s Ford, Va., and belonged to the last generation of African Americans to be born into slavery. He was extremely influential to both black and white parties, and his followers called him the “Tuskegee Machine.” His other accomplishments include writing 14 novels, including his autobiography Up From Slavery, and co-founding West Virginia State University. He died in 1915 at the age of 58.