Although not officially recorded, Booker T Washington was born in Franklin County, Virginia either in 1858 or 1859. He is unsure of the exact date, but does know that he was born near a crossroads post-office called Hale’s Ford. Born a slave, Booker describes his surroundings as miserable, desolate and discouraging, even though his owner was not too cruel. He had no record of his ancestry or name because he did not know his father. His mother worked as the plantation cook and he helped. He was in charge of the sweet potatoes; he often stole a few when he could. He had no schooling or education. The information the slaves received usually came from the slave that went to the post office to retrieve the mail. The slave would linger around as long as he could, listening to people’s conversations. The biggest news he got was from listening to his mother pray that Lincoln and his army would be successful and the slaves would be free. The slaves spent their lives deprived while white people took for granted the things the slaves lacked like coffee, tea, sugar, and other articles the slaves weren’t accustomed to. Booker’s first pair of shoes was uncomfortable and loud because the bottom was made from wood.
Unlike most salves, the slaves on Booker’s plantation did not completely hate their masters. After they were freed they still cared for their masters and provided them with gifts and money.
Once most slaves became free they knew only two things; they needed to change their names and they needed to leave the plantation for at least two days to try out their freedom. Booker and his family went to West Virginia where his step father had already gotten them jobs and a place to live. After begging, his mother finally bought him a book. It was a spelling book that would help him to read and write. Later on a young colored boy came to town who knew how to read and write. The young boy offered to teach a class. Unfortunately, Booker’s...