Booker T. Washington was born a slave in Virginia, unsure of his date of birth. He lived with his mother and remembered that his mother had a half brother and sister and he, himself, had a brother and sister; however, in those days he was not very aware of family records, not to mention the the black family records. He also knew little of his father. He just knew that he was a white man who did not interfere in Bookers life or take the least interest in him either. Him and his mother attracted attention from their owner, and attracted the same way a new horse or cow would, which is how they got to be there in the first place. He explains that the colored slaves, including his ancestors, went through suffering and torture, being deported from Africa to America in the slaves ships. Going back to his birth, Booker was born in a cabin, a fourteen by sixteen square feet. He lived with his mother and sibling till they were declared free, after the Civil War. They lived in a cabin with just raw earth for a floor, no windows, and an unstable door, if it were to be called a door at all. Along with all the gaps and openings, there was a “cat-hole” in which the cat could access through, making the little home all the more uncomfortable. Several wooden boards covered a large deep hole in the center where they stored sweet potatoes in the cold weather. Most of the cooking took place over the fire place, for there were no stoves or ovens. Only in the white people’s large houses.
His mother, like other slaves, did not pay much attention to her children and only took a few moments with them before heading out to work. She would leave to work while him and his brother would sleep on filthy rags on the hard dirt floor. One night, he found his mother cooking a chicken late at night. Many would have seen it to be thievery because she had obviously taken it from no where but their owner. However there was good reason for it and Booker claims that she was just a victim of the slavery system. He states that he was asked to talk about the sports or hobbies he engaged in, but he never devoted himself to play, not a moment of time. He also never got a proper education although he did carry books for his young mistress to the school house, and the sight of children sitting and learning made a great impression him. If they ever did, he could not and can’t remember them ever sitting down to worship God or eat in a civilized manner.
The colored people showed great sympathy and tenderness to their masters or mistresses. Every time they were wounded, they would be anxious to assist them and would ask for the privilege to stay with them through the night and help.
Booker recalls having to wear a piece of clothing called a flax shirt. It was made of the cheapest and roughest material. He describes the feeling of a hundred pin points in contact with his flesh. This added to the pain he felt, but he had no choice but to wear it unless his generous brother, John, offered to wear for him for several days. Booker had many outlooks on slavery as he experienced it for the first years of his life. Luckily, they were released after war, where Booker sought an education and became successful, attending Tuskegee University despite his low wealth.

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