Compare And Contrast Learning To Read And Write And Frederick Douglass

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Alice Sterling Submitted to Jaime Anderson Writing and Inquiry September 2014 Contrasting Paths to Literacy Many kids in school today complain about the amount of reading and writing they are assigned. For most, it’s fun and new for a few years, and then it becomes a chore. In today’s public schools not only is there every chance to read, with libraries and school reading groups, but reading and writing are actually key parts of homework assignments. Slaves, on the other hand, were not even allowed to learn reading or writing. They were kept in the dark, to keep the power that the whites held from spreading. Few, like Frederick Douglass, made it their personal mission to educate themselves. Contrary to what Douglass describes as his personal experience, in his Learning to Read and Write, I, like so many other students today, had too much to read, or was given the…show more content…
Douglass was given to his first slaveholders at a young age, and soon after his mistress Sophie began with teaching him the alphabet. Her husband soon found out, however, and forbade her to continue. His mistress, having been reprimanded by her husband, became bitter and harsh, and swatted at any opportunity he had to read. “Nothing seemed to make her more angry than to see me with a newspaper,” Douglass wrote. His education was now all up to him. He used the local white boys to learn, tricking them into giving him answers by playing games with them, having competitions. He would trade bread for knowledge to the poorest of the children. Douglass read more and more, and his reading gave spark to his opposition of slavery, but at the same time tormented him and made him wish he was still in the dark sometimes. Despite his many obstacles, Douglass fought for the simple skills of being able to read and write, something kids now seem to take for

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