This HBCU Wouldn't Be What It Is Today If It Wasn't For This Black Genius

tuskegee university campus
Adé Hennis
September 15, 2023

Being the only HBCU to be designated as a National Historic Site, Tuskegee University holds an abundance of Black history. That is also true about the architect who set the stage of the institution’s Blackness.

Robert Robinson Taylor became a construction foreman before he entered college. His talents quickly became legendary.

Taylor was recruited by Booker T. Washington to be designer and construction manager for Tuskegee University, a role he served for nearly 40 years.

In 1902, he served as the Director of Mechanical Industries, which included over 22 divisions. He helped train students to become plumbers, tailors, and tinsmiths.

Taylor created a Black space physically and educationally for Black students. His story reminds us that when we set our own stage there’s no limits to the impacts our stories can tell.

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