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Mingxuan Yue/Duidui

Slavery Essay
1/31/17

Education enlightens the future

The slavery system in America was always under a lot of discussions,


which appeared as early as the first ship of black slaves from Africa landed in
Virginia. Countless deaths and abuses were happening every single day to
the Africans since then, and they were also totally without any human rights
as the whites could have. The privileges seemed to be divided substantially
based on the skin color as the only standard, and there was nothing else
such as the real human virtue to make this different for an extended period.
There were struggles, conflicts, confrontations and arguments surrounded
every single piece of the southern plantation which led to the civil war
because it needed a final answer to justify everything happened crazily on
this continent. As a typical kind of human trafficking, slavery made the
history of America even the whole world become different, but more
importantly, the narratives of the former slaves reveal the more realistic
world of suffering to us, which can be very tough to read. From the Narrative
Life of Frederick Douglass, there are more in details about the lives of slaves
and how they felt, what they encountered and ways they reacted. He was
using a comparatively lighthearted style to describe everything that was
happening to them. His writing is extremely appreciable, and no one could
imagine that this great piece of literature work was from a person who was
illiterate in the first part of his life and mainly self-taught to become a
successful literary figure. Although there are so many excellent points that
he made in his book, the role of education can be one of the most important
topics, which could both reflect his life and many others. After getting to
know his experience, the impression came into mind. The greatest way to
change ones life is to receive the education, because only by walking
through the mental enlightenment process, people could come up with their
way out of slavery, and see through the primary meaning of this action.
Education is a useful method for the slaves to understand the world and
know what the slavery system is. In the book of Frederick Douglass, he
recounts in details about how he starts to contact the alphabet and was
taught by the wife of his master, and he continues to self-teach after that
time. Although he knows that he is treated unfairly, he never thinks of a way
to understand the history of all he was suffering and even find a way out.
However, after reading all the narratives and the newspaper produced in the
North, he realized that he should not have been compromising and obeying,
and he is equal to those white people. Not only for him, but there are also
other figures such as Heather Andrea Williams, all learned by themselves and
found the unjustified truth about how their ancestors were kidnapped and
sold to this unknown continent just because they had stronger body
conditions and agiler movement as well as lower labor price. If they did not
get in the way of reading books and becoming literate, they might still be
coaxed by those slaveholders, especially for those who were born in America
got nothing to do and no source to understand. Religion might be one of the
excuses that the slaveholders were using all the time to persuade the others
to utilize slavery system to construct their plantations. However, they were
apparently following the false Christianity which was full of made up words
by them, and only to achieve their goals to free their hands. After receiving
education and along his way reading more religious documents, Frederick
Douglass realized that the real meaning of Christianity is to grant the others
with kindness instead of using Gods name to do whatever they want. He
learns the history of the slavery system, the equality of every individual in
the world and the reasons behind religion, which contribute to one of the
most important reasons for him to find a way out of slavery and question this
idea. Just as one of his famous quotes said, Knowledge makes a man unfit to
be a slave. (Frederick Douglass) After experiencing all of those craziness
and sadness, he concludes that one of the reasons for those slaves to be
enslaved is that they are illiterate.
Getting the education for the slaves is beneficial for them to spread their
ideas to the others and change their lives on their own. There are many
famous quotes that Frederick Douglass is trying to suggest this point. Once
you learn to read, you will be forever free. (Frederick Douglass) Many people
were suffering from slavery but they were not in touch with their emotions or
experiences since they were not able to find an appropriate and compelling
way to notify the others and let them know about the seriousness. Once the
masters in the book blames his wife, who taught Frederick Douglass alphabet
and words, which apparently highlights the importance of education. The
slaveholders are afraid that those slaves would stand up and fight against
them once they are educated enough, and they start to think about the
meaning of life and other rationales. Then there is no difference between the
blacks and the whites, which will indeed threaten their leading and
controlling roles. Being educated is a great way to make people find the best
way to express their needs and let the others get to understand by using the
art of language. For example, in the Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass,
there seems to be a lot of interesting plots going on, but if the words are not
attractive enough and if he cannot use the art of language to make the
narrative figurative, how could the audience feel exactly what he wanted to
say? Additionally, not only for the model in the narratives but also for the
other propaganda ways, such as the newspaper and other kinds of anti-
slavery documents, the role of education cannot be ignored. The Liberator,
which was established by William Lloyd Garrison, first brought the Americans
with the point of view from the slaves and made them think about what they
were doing. If those educational press did not appear by the well-educated
people especially the blacks, then how could the government pay attention
to this long-lasting problem and finally make evolutional changes to it?
Gaining more knowledge also made them feel the importance to fight
back and establish the spirit of leading the others out as well. Knowledge
turned into a powerful weapon in the eye of Frederick Douglass. A
gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me.
(Frederick Douglass) If the slaves did not get in touch with much of the
others experiences about their life as a slave, then it might be very unlikely
for them to get resonance and then began to cooperate. Cooperation is
critical in the whole process of escaping from being suppressed and even
helping the others out. Reading more books and getting more knowledge
about what is happening in the world encourage the slaves to fight back
instead of continuing their passive resistance, and that information also got
them full of hope about their future instead of accepting the truth to be
beaten to death. Additionally, the spirit of the leading role to get out of
slavery is synthesized during the communication and sharing process. The
slaves were taught by their peers that there could have been a possible way
to lead them out, and they recognized their leaders by reading their literary
work from the different source. Not only for the period of discussing if
America should abolish the slavery system or not, but also for the following
up events, such as the 14th and the 15th Amendment to the Constitution,
the influential black writers and those elites such as WEB. Du Bois, who
contributed a lot to demonstrate the importance to give blacks justified
rights and also their rights to vote. Many of the educated slaves also escaped
from their original plantation once they figured out that they did not belong
to there, and they started the underground railroad to help more people get
out of their cruel treatment. Helping the others, gaining African-American
spirit and being a part of the leadership role of the slavery abolishment are
all essential and cannot be separated with the effect of education in it.
Slavery is not completely over yet so, the attention to education cannot
be reduced as the history is moving on. Frederick Douglass illustrates to
support this point-of-view very strongly in his book, which also motivates the
readers to think about it positively. People should appreciate their efforts
putting into education, because if they did not realize the necessity of
getting knowledge, then the world could be very different now. Education is
certainly one of the most important factors to help the African Americans to
end slavery system, and it will also play important roles in other social
aspects.