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Tuskegee

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Tuskegee, is in the River Heritage area, and county seat of Macon County, Alabama. Tuskegee is an important place in African American and American history.

Understand

It has both a positive and a negative role in history. It served as the home of the well-known Tuskegee Institute that was founded by the principled Booker T. Washington, which went on to become the temporary home of such important American figures as George Washington Carver and the Tuskegee Airmen. But it also served as the site of the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study that would put a bad light on the US Public Health Service.

To a lesser scale, Tuskegee is also known for the work towards addressing voter disenfranchisement, as the Supreme Court ruled in 1960 that a gross instance of gerrymandering in this town that essentially excluded all African Americans from the electorate, even well-educated ones from the Tuskegee Institute/University, was unconstitutional.

Get in

Tuskegee lies along the I-85 corridor between Montgomery and Auburn/Opelika. While a little light on some of the common providers of commercial transportation like Amtrak or Greyhound, it has some private taxi/shuttle companies such as:

  • Groome Transportation-Auburn, with services from places like Auburn and Atlanta. ☏ +1 334-821-3399

Get around

See

  • Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site, 1212 W Montgomery Rd (close to Tuskegee University), ☏ +1 334 727 3200. M-Sa 9AM-4:30PM, closed Su. This is the historic black college started by Booker T Washington as the Tuskegee Institute (which would become Tuskegee University) from the meager beginnings of a plantation that he purchased for such purpose in 1906. Through his wisdom and tenacity, the school evolved over the years with a repertoire of distinguished faculty like George Washington Carver and saw the training of 5 pilots who would go on to be known as the Tuskegee Airmen for their valor during World War II. For more background, you might want to consider reading Washington's account of his role in his autobiography Up From Slavery. (updated Aug 2021)
  • 2 Tuskegee University, with a statue of Booker T. Washington and:
    • George Washington Carver Museum, near the corner of Booker T Washington Blvd and W Montgomery Rd, on Tuskegee University campus, ☏ +1 334 724 6025. M-Sa 9AM-4:30PM, closed Su. This venue provides a deeper look on the scientist/inventor who brought so many innovations to early 20th-century agriculture, although, contrary to popular belief, he did not invent peanut butter. (updated Aug 2021)
    • The Legacy Museum at Tuskegee University, Tuskegee University, 1 Benjamin F Payton Dr, ☏ +1 334 727-8888, legacymuseum@tuskegee.edu. M-F 10AM-4PM, closed during official University breaks. Covering art and science topics, including the famed Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Free, suggested donation $3. (updated Oct 2021)
  • Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, 1616 Chappie James Ave, ☏ +1 334 724-0922. F Sa 9AM-4:30PM. Dedicated to the African American pilots known as the Tuskegee who trained at this site called Moton Field. (updated Aug 2021)
  • 4 Tuskegee Human & Civil Rights Multicultural Center, 104 S Elm St, ☏ +1 334 724-0800. Tu-Sa 10AM-3PM. Covers the history of Native Americans, African Americans, and European Americans in the area, including the challenges that this community faced. (updated Aug 2021)

Do

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Tuskegee kind of has a paucity of accommodations, and it might be best to consider Auburn or somewhere else instead, although there is a vacation rental called Spacious Retreat if quite intent on staying here.

Connect

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