6 days ago



BEHIND EVERY GOOD MAN There are striking similarities between Booker T. Washington and Edgar A. Long and their wives. The Washingtons and the Longs could be considered African American power couples of their eras. They worked together in high profile education positions before, during, and after their relationships ended. Their commitments to each other and their work ran parallel and extended beyond their lives together. Booker T. Washington (Left) from “Booker T. Washington’s Own Story of His Life & Work” and Edgar Long (Right) from “A Vision of Education” • Both dedicated their entire lives to educating and uplifting the Black race. • They shared the belief that faith, family and community were central to life. • They wrote frequently and candidly about their experiences and some of their words were controversial yet full of truth. • They believed that knowledge must be paired with action. • Both were instrumental in the growth of Christiansburg Industrial Institute. • Their wives (Margaret Washington 52 and Anna Long, respectively) were smart and strong Black women with stories of their own accomplishments. THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 46

MARGARET WASHINGTON & ANNA LONG Margaret Washington and Anna Long worked alongside their husbands. Both men wrote about their wives; however, the amount of information published about them is nowhere near what was recorded about their husbands. After their husbands died and despite the legal, racial and gender barriers pervasive during their lifetimes, these ladies seamlessly, wisely, and boldly took the helm of the institutions their husbands led for many years. Margaret Washington (Left) from “Booker T. Washington’s Own Story of His Life & Work” and Anna Long (Right) from CIAA 1977 Reunion Souvenir Book ROAR! “IF WOMEN WANT ANY RIGHTS MORE THAN THEY' S GOT, WHY DON'T THEY JUST TAKE THEM, AND NOT BE TALKING ABOUT IT?” SOJOURNER TRUTH 53 Like Margaret and Anna, but vastly untold, teachers throughout the South were also unsung heroines. 54 They equipped formerly enslaved and uneducated people with the ability to read and write. The words they spoke and the words they wrote painted the landscape for high-caliber education. These women leaders were in charge at work, in their communities and at home. They chose to make their living by empowering others to learn. THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 47