Now imagine if you captured my feelings in one song…this would be it.
That’s always been the most dangerous thing, right? That’s why it was illegal for us to learn to read and write. States particularly tightened the education noose on Blacks after Nat Turner’s Rebellion, out of fear. Even states like Mississippi, which had already had law forbidding slave education, passed a law that required all free Blacks to leave the state, in fear that the free Blacks would teach/incite the slaves.
Whites feared that if their slaves learned to read and write, that they would no longer listen to what they say. They also didn’t want the Black slaves to ever get the right to vote.
However, as we all know, Blacks did gain literacy from a variety of ways, many in secret. It was impossible to keep Blacks from literacy. First, with the comings and goings of slaves on plantations, there was bound to be a few literate slaves on each plantations, particularly big ones. Those literate slaves would often teach the other slaves how to read and write. Also, many teachers began secret schools that taught slaves how to read and write. All of this was, of course, extremely dangerous.
And, if you know your history, you’ll know that the status quo to keep Black people uneducated never changed (and if you don’t know. ask yourself this.. when would that status quo have changed?)
(via Education of the Slaves)