Fredrick Douglass Essay

Submitted By Cocoabeige
Words: 543
Pages: 3

Belinda Faulkner
African American Literature
October 5, 2012
African American Literature
Professor Karen Oliver

“The Value of an Education”

For many African Americans an education is the key element out of poverty. It can lead toward upward mobility and financial security. As an African American and a non-tradition student, I found the importance of an education in my early twenties. I did not have the sense coming out of high school to pursue a college education as a young adult. My focus was on working, not a career. Unlike Frederick Douglass who always wanted to be an educated man and strived to make it happen, I had the opportunity early on and wasted it. I worked on a job, which I could not advance in, because I did not have a college education to sustain me. My view on education has changed with life and maturity, now I am realizing the value of an education. Like Frederick Douglass I do value and understand the importance of an education and the endless possibilities and opportunities that come along with an education. Since I have started this journey to pursue my education I understand the value that an education holds. Opportunities are endless. I get why educating slaves were illegal (I disagree with it, however I get it) it opens up different views and perspectives on social issues. Frederick Douglas quoted Mr. Auld in saying “If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell. A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master-to do as he is told. Learning will spoil the best nigger in the world. Now, if you teach that nigger 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” (Gates and McKay 409). Along with Frederick Douglass, I became aware of something from this statement. It