Bloggaday 224 – The First Fall 2010 School Paper
AH snap, first paper of the quarter. Did like 98% after midnight, and I’m barely following the prompt, but meh, it works well enough I suppose. It’s about a short article on the slave Frederick Douglass, and his learning to read and write.
10:40 Class September 27, 2010
With the convenience that modern technology brings, it can be easy to overlook all of the things we take for granted. It is amazing how things as simple as reading and writing were not always guaranteed, but with them, our other overlooked conveniences such as knowledge and freedom become possible. While often times knowledge can lead to the painful realization of one’s situation, it can also move society like Frederick Douglass did.
In the past, reading and writing were reserved for those in power for it was the key to knowledge. Throughout time, the ability to read and write has become more common, but it has always been deemed “dangerous” in the hands of those who lacked the knowledge of their own situation. Ignorance often breeds contentment. It is only as a person becomes more aware of how things could be that they begin to resent those in power. Reading and writing has often been the secret to this realization.
Among the most glaring examples of the use of ignorance in an attempt to subjugate a people is slavery. We can see as Frederick begins to learn more and more through reading, he becomes miserable. He begins wishing to could be like the other slaves that never learned to read and write. He even begins to harbor resentment towards the slave owner. But without people like him whom have broken free of the shackles of ignorance, then the abolition of slavery would have suffered. Without knowledge, things remain the same, and without the self-awareness that comes with it, movements can never start.
As opposed to all of the slaves who lived and died in slavery, most being deprived of the human right of knowledge, Mr. Douglass learned and read everything he could and was able to escape it. Through his learned malcontent, he was able to help start a movement. He began moving the wheels of society with his knowledge. He pushed America in the right direction, a directions that refused to accept the imposed handicap of ignorance that slave masters forced upon African Americans.
It is knowledge that fuels change. While we are afforded the ability to learn so much so early in our life, it requires more and more knowledge to continue societal evolution. A woman recently said that a Bachelor’s degree is a dime a dozen. The fact that in just over one hundred and fifty years, the bar has moved from reading and writing all the way to advanced degrees is amazing, especially when compared to the all of the time that has come before 1845 when this was written. Without the people of a society continuing to increase the knowledgebase for everyone, then that society would grind to a halt. Stuck at a plateau, we would no longer be able to look at ourselves and improve our understanding of right and wrong. We could no longer strive for the best in others and ourselves. There would be no beacons of hope, inspiring change.
For the author, reading and writing were both tremendous hurdles that he had to clear before he tap into the knowledge that produced change. But he did it. His parents didn’t help him. Even his mistress who began helping him turned on him and became the most stringent objector to his learning. He had to do everything in his power, work harder, work faster, work smarter, and all for an opportunity to learn just one more thing here and there. The fact that he was able to master something so unobtainable for people like him at that time is astonishing. His perseverance and will are truly to be admired and emulated.
It’s only when we look down to see the shoulders of the giants we stand on that we see just how far we have truly come. But aside from that, we can also get a glimpse of their passion and how much work it was to get us to where we are. With that kind of zeal, there is no limit or boundary for us as a country, as a planet, as a people.
As a Final Thought, I would like to talk.
Talk about the (faux) trial I’m doing.
You know, the one claiming that
Carl’s Jr.’s a communist chain
Even though it’s a fake,
I’m still throwing in
that are in
A short paper on Frederick Douglass is up and only on Bloggaday #Slavery #Abolition #Knowledge #Freedom
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224 September 26