Analysis Of Frances Ellen Watkins Harper's Learning To Read

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Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, born on September 24, 1825, was a leading African American poet, author, teacher and political activist. Although she was born to “free” parents in Baltimore, Maryland, she still experienced her share of hardships. She lost her mother at the tender age of three, was raised by her aunt and uncle, and fully employed by thirteen. Though all odds seemed against her, she triumphed over her obstacles, publishing her first book of poetry at the of age twenty and her first novel at the age of sixty-seven. Outside of writing books, she was a civil rights leader and a public speaker in the Anti-Slavery Society. She became widely recognized for her speech, “Education and the Elevation of the Colored Race”, participated in the underground railroad (helping slaves escape to Canada), and fought African American’s and women’s rights. Harper is a cofounder/ vice president of the National Association of Colored Women is known as the, “Mother of African American Journalism” and. Decades after her passing (February 22,1911), …show more content…

This poem conveys the importance of literacy to the oppressed (slaves)and its power. “Learning to Read” gives us an up close and personal look into the lengths slaves would go to learn how to read. In the poem, Chloe, a former slave, is expressing her account of how slaves were educated before and after slavery. She speaks in detail about the cleaver ways slaves would hide pages of books and ease drop, in the name of what we call “Education”. Back then, something as simple as reading, was a level of freedom and self-empowerment for slaves. Chloe is so determined to learn, that she refuses to let anything stand in her way, or discourage her. Even when she gets up in age and her peers mock her, she doesn’t lose sight of her goal. Chloe’s determination pays off in the end, and by gaining knowledge, she gains her

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