Booker T. Washington's formative years were from 1865 to 1881 in Old Malden, West Virginia. From age 9 to 25 years, he developed values, vision, and a plan to build a black middle class in the South. He observed his parents integrate Malden by buying a home in town four years after they were slaves. Six weeks after their purchase, he saw a race riot a few blocks away, but, like Rosa Parks on a Montgomery bus, with great courage, they stayed put, ever determined to be good neighbors to all.
By Larry Linwell Rowe