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Word Count: 1,832
Of my ancestry I know almost nothing In the slave quarters and even later I heard whispered conversations among the colored people of the tortures which the slaves including no doubt my ancestors on my mothers side suffered in the middle passage of the slave ship while being conveyed from Africa to America I have been unsuccessful in securing any information that would throw any accurate light upon the history of my family beyond my mother She I remember had a half-brother and a half-sister In the days of slavery not very much attention was given to family history and family records - that is black family records My mother I suppose attracted the attention of a purchaser who was afterward my owner and hers Her addition to the slave family attracted about as much attention as the purchase of a new horse or cow Of my father I know even less than of my mother I do not even know his name I have heard reports to the effect that he was a white man who lived on one of the near-by plantations Whoever he was I never heard of his taking the least interest in me or providing in any way for my rearing But I do not find especial fault with him He was simply another unfortunate victim of the institution which the Nation unhappily had engrafted upon it at that time -Booker T Washington Up From Slavery One would like to think that it is impossible to read the above paragraph without being ashamed of White America Booker T Washington was a man of such expansive good will and generous spirit that he could write on the one hand about his mother being purchased like a barnyard animal and on the other hand could forgive the purchaser as one of slaverys victims too This great man rose from a slave childhood to become one of the nations leading educators and the
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