Schomburg Chief's Tricks of the Trade

The Root of My Success: Khalil Gibran Muhammad says a sense of compassion helps him in his work.

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Khalil Gibran Muhammad (billmoyers.com)

(The Root) -- Khalil Gibran Muhammad, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem in New York City, told us at last year's annual The Root 100 gala, where he was honored, that he owes a great deal of his success to his parents.

They instilled in him "a sense of compassion" and "caring for the less fortunate" that has helped him in his career, he said. He also thrives on meeting the black thought leaders and black influencers who are responsible for shaping the country and the community.

Watch the rest below, and check out "The Root of My Success" videos from MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry and fashion designer Tracy Reese.

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