Black in the Day…The Start of the Golden Tigers

September 19, 1881: On this day Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama, held its first classes. Booker T. Washington, then the school’s only teacher, instructed the inaugural class of thirty African American students out of a one-room shanty near the Butler Chapel AME Zion Church. As the newly hired principal in Tuskegee, Booker Washington began classes for his new school in a rundown church and shanty. The following year (1882), he purchased a former plantation of 100 acres in size. In 1973 the Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, did an oral history interview with Annie Lou…