The Narrative Of Frederick Douglass, The Souls Of Black Folks

876 WordsApr 4, 20174 Pages
Education has long been at the core of every African American story. Historically, this ideal represented freedom and empowerment and at the same time, fought against white oppression, segregation, and enslavement. Education in every African American experience denotes a haunting yet positive connotation and vestiges of its impact can still seen in our contemporary lives. Through this essay, we explore the how education affected both slaves and whites alike and how the controversy of education carried onto the present. This interplay between education, blacks, and whites can be seen in a variety of African American literature, including The Narrative of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass, The Souls of Black Folks by W.E.B…show more content…
Although this passage provides a less direct approach in addressing the power of education, the text still contains critical information about the complex legacy of slavery. Malcolm notes the destruction of slave history through brainwashing African Americans themselves has been an effective way of enforcing white privilege. Similarly, DuBois articulates the “bright ideals of the past..” were not wrong but “over-simple and incomplete, - the fond imaginings of the other world which does not know and does not want to know our power.” Both DuBois and Malcolm emphasize on a hidden part of a grand story that has been lost to the degradation of black culture and the rise of white privilege. The fear that the knowledge will hold too much power, too much information fueled the common incentive to keep these slaves ignorant. In both Undone and Douglass’s narrative, the author enunciates the relationship between social status and education, most literally in Undone. The woman levitating high above the floor epitomizes her high position in society. We also notice bottles clinging to a shriveled plant. A common symbol associated with a bottle is protection. For this piece, the bottles seem to symbolize whites, as compared to the slaves, whom are constantly being protected and much cared for. The bottles hanging onto the plant depicts whites at the mercy of this aspiring African American woman. This very sculpture equates
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