It wasn 't that the slaves just didn’t want to tell them because they 'll ask for more, if they told them then they would learn. If a slave knew about the world and their differences, then it would make them think critically of everything. They would start to realize how they could make changes or they could plan out an escaped to get out of slavery and into freedom. If a master found out a slave knew how to learn or write, the slave would be severely punished. As mentioned in the book, it says how Mrs. Auld was teaching him when a master walked in and said no.
Slave owners feared that if slaves became educated and “waken to a sense of their rights, and of the injustice done them” (Douglass 14), they would eventually revolt and want to simply be treated like a human being. For this reason, slave owners kept their blacks ignorant
He wants to expose slavery for all the horrors that it truly is, and for this he needs no exaggeration in the stories he tells. His simple language tells the story with the slightest hint of remembrance and sadness as the only emotion. That melancholy tone makes the reader wonder if, despite his emotion and obvious disapproval for the slave-driven society in which he lives, Douglass sometimes feels hopeless when he has to remember the things that he and his friends and family endured. His incorporation of religious elements in a text about slavery’s ills is very compelling. It is likely that inclusion of such material would be appealing to readers that would possibly have bought Douglass’s narrative, but also, the reader might assume that the events surrounding Douglass’s life as a slave caused him to form his own opinions about religion and its effect on society.
To ever teach slave would ensure “the freedom of the slaves and the enslavement of the whites” (Douglass, 2012). If a person does not know a brighter happier place exists they will not want to go there. Likewise, if a slave only knows the life his master affords him, he does not know there are place
This is child abuse depicted in the books and shows the way children were treated by their masters. In Another autobiography “Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass” he explains how “The white children could tell their ages but the blacks could not tell why they ought to be deprived of the same privilege.” (Paulsen,19) There was no equality between the whites and blacks. The whites had more power and treated the blacks as if they were powerless. This is exactly how the blacks felt-powerless. They were forced to obey their master or else they would be given horrendous punishments..
In the minds of many Southerners, without slavery, the South and America as a whole, wouldn’t continue to be a growing economic powerhouse, and would lose its culture as a nation where White Christian, males, ruled society. For many, there was no South, no America, without slavery. History has shown time and time again that power corrupts. To hold onto their power, slave owners made sure their slaves were kept uneducated. As it is today, if you’re not born into your wealth, the primary way for people to escape from poverty is through education.
Writers like Olaudah Equiano and Frederick Douglass were different from other slaves in the sense that they were educated and used it as a tool to talk about the horrors of slavery. These writers approached their predominantly white readership by narrating their experiences as slaves and how they were negatively impacted by it. For example, Frederick Douglass never knew his mother nor his presumably white father. And because children had to follow the condition of the mother, he was meant to be a slave for life. In his writing, he also described how initially his mistress was teaching him how to read and write, however she stopped after his master told her not to.
He said the problem with protest novels dealing with Negroes, beginning with Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is that they define the Negro by the conditions under which he lives; they fail to present him as a human being. And readers, said Baldwin, get “a definite thrill of virtue from the fact that they are reading a book at all. This report from the pit reassures us of its reality and its darkness and of our own salvation.” This was a frontal attack on Wright’s belief that literature should be an instrument for social progress, and it led to a rupture between the two. In his book, Nobody Knows My Name, Baldwin recounted the difficult conversations they had
Unlike Rodriguez, Douglass would have been seen as a danger because educated slaves could bring on a revolution and would be seen as an abolitionist with crazy ideas. However, Rodriguez believed that one should immerse oneself into the American way of life which included giving up one's cultural identity for a new and better one. In contrast Frederick Douglass did not want to give up his rich cultural heritage because he understood that without it people would forget the horrors committed to them in the white man’s world. Frederick was an advocate of his heritage and taught others to read and write so he could inform them. Douglass wanted other African Americans to see the world without the fuzzy restriction of old world ideas.
Two ways a man can be enslaved are by force and by manipulation, to make one think that good will come out of doing what the master’s demands. Religion was used to control the minds of the slaves by manipulating slaves to be obedient and appreciative of their masters. What white slave owners did was almost similar to the Catholic clergy’s actions before the Reformation. They didn’t allow slaves to go to church themselves because they feared rebellion and slave owners would preach the “gospel” or hire someone. The attitudes towards whites differs between slaves who had been captured and brought from Africa to those born in America because native Africans had hatred towards the whites and had no value towards them.