He was born a slave on a plantation in Virginia. Right from a young age, he had an intense longing to learn and to read. His determination to educate himself at all costs carried him—despite all apprehensions and hardships—from the salt furnaces and coal mines of Malden to the hallowed portals of the Hampton Institute. He displayed this same single-mindedness and never-give-up attitude, later, in his repeated attempts at brick-making at the Tuskegee Institute.
Booker performed all tasks with scrupulousness—a trait he cultivated at Mrs Ruffner’s, and later used to gain entry into the Hampton Institute. After graduating, he literally worked day and night to teach others at Malden, at Hampton and at Tuskegee. He showed this same dedication in getting his brothers educated. He acquired a good reputation as a speaker after the campaign for Charleston. However, he did not opt for individual success by joining politics. This he…
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