Booker T. Washington State Park is named in honor of the famous leader, Booker Taliaferro Washington. Born into slavery and freed by the age of nine, Washington fought throughout his life to earn a higher education. Washington’s dedication earned him a scholarship into Hampton Normal Agriculture Institute for Freedman in Hampton, Va. He is best known for being former president of the Tuskegee Institute, a black organization for higher education. Washington strongly believed that agriculture and vocational education was the key to advance a newly freed race to a better life and not the pursuit of civil rights.