Great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington Releases Latest Book

Dr. Sarah Washington Rush upholds her ancestor’s legacy of leadership excellence

CLAYTON, N.C., April 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Dr. Sarah Washington O’Neal Rush, great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington, releases her fourth book, “Blueprint to Excellence: Being, Growing, Leading, Soaring” (BTE). She states, “I strive to follow in my great-grandfather’s footsteps by accomplishing just a fraction of what he was able to achieve in his brief lifetime.” She believes the privilege of being born into this lineage comes with an obligation to continue his legacy of uplifting others. She explains, “Since I first learned about the depth of his work, which unfortunately didn’t happen until I was a young adult, I have been on a mission to keep his legacy alive and his name honored. I’ve also made it my life’s purpose to encourage as many as I can to be, to grow, to rise, and to soar.”

The book was created to enhance the future of individuals, groups, and especially rising and aspiring leaders. It is made up of sixteen success principles grounded in lessons from Dr. Rush’s professional training in education, leadership, and mental health. The book is rooted in her great-grandfather’s evidence based “head, hand, and heart” teachings. The same philosophy that he instilled in his students at Tuskegee Institute, today known as Tuskegee University.

Booker T. Washington once said, “A man’s position in life is not measured by the heights which he has attained, but by the depths from which he has come.” It was in that spirit that he led thousands of former slaves and their descendants out of poverty. In the book, Christian Business Legends, Lessons from History, they cited that “in 1905, Tuskegee turned out more self-made millionaires than Yale, Harvard, and Princeton universities combined.” Dr. Rush attributes that success to three things: Washington’s relentless commitment to improving the lives of former slaves in the South in the face of unimaginable difficulties; his unyielding belief in their strength and potential; and his keen ability to sustain the school by forging strong relationships across socioeconomic and ethnic boundaries.

About Blueprint to Excellence: Being, Growing, Rising, Soaring
Dr. Rush draws from her expertise in education, leadership, and mental health—as well as from the wisdom of her great-grandfather, Booker T. Washington—to meticulously craft a comprehensive guide to personal and professional development. With an integration of strength-based, solution-focused, and cognitive-behavioral theories, the book is divided into four powerfully immersive quadrants—Being, Growing, Leading, Soaring. Each quadrant takes the reader through four of the sixteen fundamental principles, interwoven with thought-provoking exercises, discussions, and assignments. All aimed at fostering a holistic approach to growing in excellence. It includes lessons in character building, critical thinking, effective writing, goal setting, and much more.

BTE is a practical, easy-to-read workbook. It is a transformative guide, designed for individuals, groups, and especially rising and aspiring leaders, and/or for those who train or work with them—from older, mature teens, to senior adults. The online course will be available this fall.

About Dr. Sarah Washington O’Neal Rush
Dr. Rush is a national speaker, author, and educator. Her previous books include, “Rising Up from the Blood: A Legacy Reclaimed, A Bridge Forward” and “Timeless Treasures: Reflections of God’s Word in the Wisdom of Booker T. Washington,” cowritten with her cousin, Gloria Jackson. She is a featured writer of empowerment material, and has appeared in print, on television, radio, in documentaries, and on podcasts highlighting her work and the achievements of her esteemed great-grandfather. To learn more, visit The workbook is available now on

Anthony Warren