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Booker T Washington Monument

The National Park Service's Booker T. Washington Monument does far more than put a face on slavery; it brings to life what it was like to be a nine year old slave on a hardscrabble plantation; it brings home the sheer determination of ex-slaves like Booker T. Washington to gain and share a formal education; and it gives visitors a window into the varied perspectives of African American leaders at the beginning to fhte 20th century.

Booker T. Washingon's story is shared by Walking through the reconstructed farm buildings with the wind pouring through the planks; viewing the sows ears pinned on the mantle on mantle as holiday decorations; and hearing the story of Booker T. Washington's trip from Malden,West Virginia to Richmond where he slept under the sidewalk to earn his train fare on to Hampton. Visitor's hear Washington's words what it was to hear the Emancipation Proclamation read and about his convictions about education.

Events are held frequently; this is worth a trip even without a special activity.The exhibits inside and out the center are nicely documented; the farm animals and farming engage younger children. The site is close to Bedford and Lynchburg. It is an easy trip from Smith Mountain Lake State Park.

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