Denzel Washington is one of the most acclaimed actors in Hollywood, with two Academy Awards and numerous other accolades to his name. Booker T Washington was a prominent African American leader and educator in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who founded the Tuskegee Institute and advocated for racial uplift. But are these two Washingtons related by blood or by name?
The Answer: No, They Are Not Related
There is no evidence that Denzel Washington and Booker T Washington are related in any way. They share a common surname, but that does not mean they have a common ancestry. In fact, Washington is a very common surname among African Americans, as many enslaved people adopted the name of their former owners or of prominent figures after emancipation.
According to Encyclopedia Virgini Booker T Washington was born into slavery in Virginia in 1856, and his biological father was an unknown white man. His mother, Jane Ferguson, was also enslaved and had two other children from different fathers. His strongest family ties were to his older half-brother, John, and younger half-sister, Amanda. He was less close to his stepfather, “Wash” Ferguson, an enslaved man whom his mother married after Washington was born.
According to Mental Floss, Denzel Washington was born in Mount Vernon, New York, in 1954, to a Pentecostal minister father and a beauty parlor owner mother. His parents divorced when he was 14, and he was sent to a private boarding school in New Windsor, New York. He later attended Fordham University and pursued a career in acting.
The Rumor: How It Started and Why It Persists
The rumor that Denzel Washington and Booker T Washington are related seems to have originated from a dubious answer on a website called Answers.com. The answer claims that they are related because they have the same last name and because Booker T Washington looks like Denzel Washington’s father. However, this answer is not backed by any sources or evidence, and it is contradicted by other answers on the same website.
The rumor may persist because some people may find it appealing or interesting to imagine a connection between two influential and successful African Americans from different eras. However, this does not mean that the rumor is true or that it should be taken seriously.
The Conclusion: Respect Both Men for Their Own Achievements
Denzel Washington and Booker T Washington are not related by blood or by name. They are both remarkable individuals who have made significant contributions to their fields and to society. They deserve to be respected and admired for their own achievements, not for a false or fabricated link.