Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was born into slavery and became the greatest African American leader of the post-Reconstruction era. His philosophy of education, self-reliance and entrepreneurship as the way out of poverty and economic slavery was the prevailing thought of the era. Washington founded the Tuskegee Institute in 1881.
Triangular-shaped Booker T. Washington Park was created by the city parks commission in 1924 as a neighborhood park for OKC’s African American community. Situated on a thriving NE 4th Street and just a block away from (then) Douglass High School, the park quickly found a home in the hearts of nearby residents. For several decades the champion Douglass High School Trojans played football in the park at Page Stadium, while swimming, family reunions and picnics were a common sight throughout the summer. As the pool and recreation center moved to nearby Foster and Douglass parks, Washington Park is much quieter now but it’s still a meeting ground for large community events, family reunions and other celebrations and is fondly remembered by many residents who grew up in the NE 4 area.