"Slavery and Illiteracy"
State legislation of nineteenth century America was far from uniform, as American government was taking some of its earliest steps toward organization. This lack of unanimity, however, was applied only to the specifics of legislation in most cases, as the framework of each state?s government seemed to reflect that of its neighbor. In the south, especially, generalities were highly prevalent And one such generality was that of a legislation that protected and supported the institution of slavery. Many states, for example, had harsh laws concerning runaway slaves, known in most regions as the Fugitive Slave Law. Some variations of this law were more abrasive than others, as in the case with one of the earliest Fugitive Slave Laws in Virginia, which in 1642 authorized the branding of the letter ?R? on the face of runaway slaves. (www.edcen.edu) Another widely accepted regulation, and means of maintaining slavery, was the ?one drop rule? which categorized any person as African-American who has even one drop of African-American blood in his/her family tree. This was a very powerful tool in exploiting more and more slaves. As explained at www.Africana.com, ?Race-based slavery was basically an economic system. It was in the syst
That which to him was a great evil, to be carefully shunned, was to me a great good, to be diligently sought; and the argument which he so warmly urged, against my learning to read, only served to inspire me with a desire and determination to learn. It was certainly true, that if a black learned to read, it would forever unfit him to be a slave, because heshe would soon realize the crime that slavery is against humanity. This was the very principle on which illiteracy and the success of slavery hinged. It necessarily followed then, that sanctions be implemented to avoid any such counteraction. 67) This literary box was that of the slave narrative, because even after his liberation, people held strong ideas about what roles black Americans ought to play in American literary and intellectual life, as well as in their own emancipation. As exemplified in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, the collective oppression of blacks minds by way of depriving them literacy was the most central element in the perpetuation of slavery. In a collection of essays written both by and of Douglass, Wilson J. His success, however, was not in full. If, however, the educated whites found themselves inclined to alleviate their fellow man of the burden of illiteracy, the system would be terribly disrupted and thereby ultimately futile. So it was of extreme importance to eliminate any potential interference of the educated whites before it could become a problem. International Publishers: New York, 1950.
Some topics in this essay:
Frederick Douglass, Slavery Code, Hugh Auld, Box Brown, African American, Laws Virginia, II Section, Convention Movement, , Aulds Auld, frederick douglass, institution slavery, read write, reading writing, maintaining slavery, writing slaves, reading writing slaves, educated whites, slave unmanageable value, slave narrative, fugitive slave, unmanageable value master, life frederick, forever unfit slave, kentucky vol ii,
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