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Lifting the Veil of Ignorance Monument is located at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee Alabama and was presented and dedicated on April 15, 1922. It is a tribute to Booker T. Washington who founded Tuskegee University. Over 100,000 people were in attendance during its unveiling to pay tribute to him.


  • "Lifting the Veil of Ignorance" was created by Charles Keck in 1922 to honor the life of Booker T. Washington.

Sculpted by artist Charles Keck, the statue portrays Booker T Washington lifting a veil of ignorance from a frightened slave, who is crouched on a plow and anvil depicting tools of agriculture and holding a book, which represents education. Washington sought to bring a better life to his people through education. 

Among many of the inscriptions on the monument and the surrounding structures is this one: 

"He lifted the veil of ignorance from his people and pointed the way to progress through education and industry"

Booker T. Washington was a former slave who became one of the most influential African-Americans of his generation. He was an author, political leader, teacher, and speaker. Washington was determined to secure an education and to teach others. He had clear ideas on how to improve the lives of African-Americans. He believed in accommodating and promoting self-help and manual skills (rather than studying liberal arts), believing they would be less threatening to the white community. 

1. Black Atlantic Resource Debate, posted: February 3, 2011, http://blackatlanticresource.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/booker-t-washington-lifting-the-veil-of-ignora... 

2. "Lifting The Veil." National Park Service. Accessed October 2, 2014,  http://www.nps.gov/bowa/forteachers/liftingtheveil.htm. 

3. "Lifting the Veil of Ignorance Monument: A Tribute to Booker T. Washington," posted July 9, 2013, http://blackartblog.blackartdepot.com/features/african-american-monuments-statues/lifting-veil-ignor...