"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." - Booker T. Washington (April 5, 1856- November 14, 1915) Booker Taliaferro Washington was an African-American educator, author, and civil rights leader. He was the dominant figure in the African-American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915. Representative of the last generation of black American leaders born in slavery, he spoke on behalf of the large majority of blacks who lived in the South but had lost their ability to vote through disfranchisement by southern legislatures. Find many more inspirational quotes here. Find many inspirational African related items and articles here.