The Childhood of Booker T. Washington

The Childhood of Booker T. Washington

The Childhood of Booker T. Washington:

And How He Made it into Hampton

A Drawing Book for Self Expression

Compiled & Edited By Leon Dixon

(Based on his autobiography Up From Slavery)

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01 Hello there










Booker T. Washington: Hello there.

It is often said that one's childhood experiences shape one's future. Let me share some of my experiences as a young man with you.

02 My Early Life

My Early Life





I was born on a plantation in Franklin County Virginia. I don't know the exact place and time. But I I've been told that it was in a log cabin near a crossroads post-office called Hale's Ford. It must have been around 1858 or 1859.

I know almost nothing about my family's history. In slavery days, very little attention was paid to the family history of Black folks. I do remember that my mother had a half brother and a half sister. I also remember hearing old folks' whispered conversations in the slave quarters. Many of them were about the tortures that Blacks had to suffer in the slave ships that brought them from Africa to America. I am sure that my ancestors on my mother's side endured that trip, which is known as the middle passage.

04 My Early Family Lifestyle

My Early Family Lifestyle





Our cabin was poorly built. It had no glass windows. It only had openings in the sides to let in light. Those same openings also let in cold air in the winter. In the summer the heat from the open fireplace was equally as trying. As for sleeping arrangements, my older brother John, my sister Amanda and I used a pallet made from bundles of filthy rags laid on the dirt floor.

Our mother had little time to care for us during the day. She did snatch a little time for us in the early morning before she started cooking, and at night after she finished. One of my earliest memories is of her waking us up late one night to eat a chicken she had cooked. I don't know where she got it, but I'm pretty sure it came from our owner's farm. If someone did something like that today, they would be considered a theft. However, given that it happened during slavery, you could never get me to regard my mother as a thief.

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