Thursday, April 25, 2024

Booker T. Washington’s great granddaughter will attend local Juneteenth events

Sandra Crenshaw, Dallas County 19 of June Committee, will co-host Dr. Sarah Washington Rush, the great granddaughter of Booker T. Washington during the Juneteenth celebrations in North Texas, June 16 through 18, 2023. Dr. Sarah, as she is affectionately known, will be participating in the Waxahachie NAACP Juneteenth Parade on June 17 at 11:00 a.m.

Dr Rush is the last born of the great-grandchildren of former slave, turned famous educator, and founder of Tuskegee University—Booker T. Washington (1856 –1915). Dr. Rush founded a nonprofit to honor his legacy.

Dr. Rush’s grandfather was Ernest Davidson Washington, and his second wife, Olivia Davidson, was her grandmother, who died shortly after their sons were born.


Dr. Sarah Washington Rush, the great granddaughter of slave-turned-educator Booker T. Washington will attend local celebrations of Juneteenth. (Courtesy photo)

Booker Taliaferro Washington was among the last generation of Black American leaders born into slavery. He became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants.
Dallas County NOJOC will caravan on June 17th from Hwy 35 and Pleasant Run, Desoto to attend Juneteenth at Mexia at Comanche Crossing at 12:30p.m. The emancipation celebration will be held at the Booker T. Washington Park in Mexia, the only emancipation park that is owned and operated by the descendants of former slaves.

The parade will be held at 10:00 a.m. in Waxahachie, and a celebration will be held at noon in Mexia. Mexia is just under 90 miles to the south of Dallas along IH-35.

The event will be followed by a VIP reception from 7:00pm – 9pm on June 17th at the Pittman Hotel in Dallas, with dancing until 11pm.

During a difficult period of transition in the nation, Booker T. Washington did much to improve the working relationship between the races. His work greatly helped Black people to achieve education, financial power and understanding of the U.S. legal system. This contributed to their attaining the skills to create and support the civil rights movement, and it led to the passage of important federal civil rights laws in the later 20th century.

Washington secretly funded litigation for civil rights cases, such as challenges to Southern constitutions and laws that had disenfranchised Black people across the South. Washington privately contributed substantial funds for legal challenges to segregation and disfranchisement, such as the case of Giles v. Harris, heard before the United States Supreme Court in 1903.

Even when such challenges were won at the Supreme Court, southern states quickly responded with new laws to accomplish the same ends, for instance, adding “grandfather clauses” that covered whites and not Black people to prevent them from voting. Because of Washington’s influential leadership, the timespan of his activity, from 1880 to 1915, has been called the Age of Booker T. Washington.

Often asked for political advice by Presidents McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft, Washington worked well with other people regardless of their races, ethnicities, religion, and political affiliation.

Dr. Rush has other notable relatives. Washington’s daughter, Portia, was married to William Sidney Pittman, a well-known architect, who built among other notable buildings, the Knights of Pythia dance hall, which was later remodeled into a hotel and named in William S. Pittman’s honor. Notably, Uncle Duke Slater was the first Black lineman in the NFL and a municipal court judge in Cook County Superior Court in Chicago. Slater was recently enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Also related to Dr. Rush is Diane Watson, a retired Congresswoman from Los Angeles and aunt on her mother’s side, Sarah H. Meriwether Nutter, who was one of the original founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the first Black sorority. Ms. Nutter also became the first national secretary. As an educator, her profession was considered most critical to the advancement of African American citizens.

Mexia Juneteenth is sponsored by the NOJOC of Limestone County. Mr. and Miss Juneteenth is sponsored by Manning Enterprise and Mt. Gideon Primitive Baptist Church.
RSVP @, or for more, info call 214-498-5298.


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