Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It Would Forever Unfit Him to be a Slave.

I'm basically posting to share two websites that I feel are very important. The first is a list of 20 websites dedicated to free ebooks. The second analyzes every bill that passes through congress, makes the information easily available and posts them in order, then allows you to state your opinion, and makes it easy to contact your representatives on the issues you care about. Votetocracy is a very cool website.

Frederick Douglas included some very important bits about education in the narrative of his life:

"Learning would spoil the best nigger in the world. Now," said he, "if you teach that nigger (speaking of myself) how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master. As to himself, it could do him no good, but a great deal of harm. It would make him discontented and unhappy." These words sank deep into my heart, stirred up sentiments within that lay slumbering, and called into existence an entirely new train of thought. It was a new and special revelation, explaining dark and mysterious things, with which my youthful understanding had struggled, but struggled in vain. I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty--to wit, the white man's power to enslave the black man.

Whilst I was saddened by the thought of losing the aid of my kind mistress, I was gladdened by the invaluable instruction which, by the merest accident, I had gained from my master. Though conscious of the difficulty of learning without a teacher, I set out with high hope, and a fixed purpose, at whatever cost of trouble, to learn how to read. The very decided manner with which he spoke, and strove to impress his wife with the evil consequences of giving me instruction, served to convince me that he was deeply sensible of the truths he was uttering. It gave me the best assurance that I might rely with the utmost confidence on the results which, he said, would flow from teaching me to read.

These words I treasure and hold dear in my heart as a glowing beacon of the greatest weapon there ever was against oppression and despair.
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