Tuskegee is a city in Macon County, Alabama, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 11,846 and is designated a Micropolitan Statistical Area. Tuskegee has been an important site in various stages of African American history.
It is where, in 1881, Booker T. Washington founded the Tuskegee Normal School for Colored Teachers on a former plantation. It was later named the Tuskegee Institute and then Tuskegee University, with the mission of educating freedmen for self-sufficiency. It was the site of the now-infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment, a clinical study conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service through the Institute from 1932-1972. The experiment enrolled black poor population with syphilis and observed the physical reactions without giving proper healthcare. When the infected black male went to get health help, they thought they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government but they only received simple pain relief pills.
The university is a center of excellence for African-American education. The heart of the university has been designated a National Historic District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. One of the most famous teachers at Tuskegee was George Washington Carver, whose name is synonymous with innovative research into Southern farming method and products developed from a variety of crops. Tuskegee and Tuskegee Institute were also home to the famed Tuskegee Airmen, the first squadron of African-American pilots trained in the U.S. Military. The town was the birthplace of Rosa Louise Parks in 1913; she became a civil rights activist in the 1950s. The city is the county seat of Macon County.