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Learning to read and write - Essay Example

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Indeed this was one of the most inhumane experiences in the history of human life. Men and women were commoditized and sold as property…
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Learning to read and write
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"Learning to read and write"

Download file to see previous pages Fredrick Douglass, in his article “Learning to Read and write,” gives an account of slavery and how depriving it was to him as well as other slaves under the abolition movement. He takes us through his seven year life under his master and mistress in a captivating manner that clearly brings out the situation many slaves had to encounter. The master was consistently against his slave’s learning while the mistress initially supported and even thought him how to write but later succumbed to the husband’s directives not to have Fredrick literate. But out of a great personal resolve and determination he was able to succeed in learning how to read and write.
The mistress was such a kind woman and initially treated Fredrick just the way she supposed a human being should be treated by another. She even could teach him how to read and write but with time gave in to the husband’s directions not to do that. She not only stopped instructing him but also discouraged anyone from instructing him. But Fredrick had been given the inch when the mistress taught him the alphabet and therefore nothing could stop him from taking the ell. He therefore used all strategies available to acquire literacy and understand what certain words like slavery, abolition and others meant.
Generally slaves were seen as lesser humans with limited capability in academics and other fields of life. They did not have any constitutional rights hence most of them were even not allowed to marry, those who were married were separated from their families and their children could be taken and sold off any time without their permission. They were used in lotteries, were not allowed to testify in courts and were not entitled to education. Their movements as well as interactions were closely monitored and they had to carry around the pass every time. (Brumley, 1999).
The slaves therefore employed different strategies sometimes to reverse their situations. The slave in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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