Frederick Douglass and US Education System
Education in the United States has been seized for generations of Americans because education equates to breaking barriers to freedom. In the United States during the 19th century, slavery was the part of the culture. During slavery, African Americans were not granted education. Specifically, in the case of Frederick Douglass, a slave turned, famous abolitionist with great accomplishments. Douglass had a relentless urge for wanting to learn. In addition the United States today is still limiting education and opportunity to its younger people. Education is currently limited by imposing standardized tests or studies that are not taught in its entirety. Education is a pathway to freedom because education teaches how to empower individuals to change society’s corruption.
Throughout time the pathway of freedom is not accomplishable without education. Frederick Douglass knew he wanted to be more than the average slave. Douglass continued his learning even through his adolescent years. He explains through his writing, “In the same book, I met with one of Sheridan’s mighty speeches on and in behalf of Catholic emancipation. These were choice documents to me. I read them over and over again with unabated interest. They gave tongue to interesting thoughts of my own soul, which had frequently flashed through my mind, and died away for the want of utterance. The moral which I gained from the dialogue was the power of truth over the conscience of even a slaveholder. (Page 2, “Frederick Douglass, Learning to Read”). Douglass learning to read and understand the context of what he is reading helps strengthen his path to freedom. The repetition.of reading the same books help build perspective. Specifically the perspective helps understand the slaveholders mentality. Due to Douglass’ understanding of slaveholders mentality allows him to gain an option of other death or freedom. Death because being able to express his opinion to his slave master would most likely result in his own death. Or freedom by being able to out smart his slave master and gain his freedom. In addition, “When left thus, I used to spend the time in writing in the spaces left in master Thomas’s copy‐book, copying what he had written. I continued to do this until I could write a hand very similar to that of Master Thomas. Thus, after a long, tedious effort for years, I finally succeeded in learning how to write (Page 4, Frederick Douglass, Learning to Read”). Douglass learned to write by copying his slave master’s book. From Douglass’ circumstances he chose to educate himself and did not becoming stereotypical slave. He learned to read and write while being enslaved but did not deter him. Frederick Douglass went on an abolitionist while working with Susan B. Anthony and the Women’s Suffrage Movement or being a vocal consultant to Abraham Lincoln to abolish slavery. To conclude education correlates to freedom because it helps view the world with multiple perspectives than the one that an individual is exposed to when growing up.
Education is being prevented across the United States institutionalize the youth with standardized tests and studies who have been whitewashed. The position of Late Night host John Oliver stated on standardized tests, “A hypothetical girl could take Pearson tests from kindergarten through at least eighth grade — tests by the way that she studied for using Pearson curriculum and textbooks, taught to her by teachers who are certified by their own Pearson test, ‘If she eventually got sick of Pearson and dropped out, well, she’d have to take the GED, which is now — guess what — also a Pearson test” (Oliver, ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’). Oliver is stating that success is structured by tests that is created by the same company. The same company designs and formats for people who want to change their academic look in society but cannot because there is a common adversary. Also Oliver states in another episode about whitewashed studies in schools, that kids today are learning that Africa and Asia are just places (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver). Oliver is contraying that school studies have been or are going to be whitewashed because they are taking historic places and events that have been the origin continent of people or the biggest continent. The relation between Oliver’s position and Frederick Douglass is that education throughout history. Douglass was not able to learn because of slaves were seen as property more than a human with a brain. In today’s times every one who is a citizen but are limited to education as Douglass was in his time period. The standardized tests and whitewashed studies have been a new way from allowing people to become successful or become empowered in any way.
Frederick Douglass and children currently living in the United States both have their education premeditated when entering the bad ‘new world’. The world is set up one way and it is the job of another to break the barriers of the world’s cycle of deceit. There is not a limit to success but without education is not easy to obtain. Education is the pathway to freedom because it encourages self empowerment, confidence, perspective, and knowledge to create change.
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