My father was my mentor and I am the man I am today because of him.  He not only taught me about how hard work leads to success, that blacks had God given rights but of the importance of education.  He often said, and lived by these words, “We must look to education to raise ourselves up.” This is why he provided the best education one could acquire in the wilderness that was Southern Illinois. He hired a private tutor at home, then sent my brother Tom and me off to Shiloh Academy for more advanced studies. It was because of my father that I later attended the University of Louisville, where I earned a law degree, but I do get ahead of myself.

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