We Weren’t Always Allowed to be Educated – Brittney Phillips

Growing up in this day and age, I think I have forgotten my roots and just how fortunate I actually am. The simple daily pleasures we take for granted were once things people sacrificed their lives for. When reading the Fredrick Douglas “Learning to Read & Grow in Knowledge”, Exercises in Restoration by John Ross, Frankie Mae by Jean Wheeler Smith, or the film “The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords” & so many other sources of information provided through this media course did I remember access to knowledge wasn’t always a given. Being able to read, write, and the opportunity to learn was frowned upon amongst those who weren’t apart of the elite and superior class (White Men). Just being able to have a language to even articulate thoughts is strength. Fredrick Douglas could never dream of rebellion or understand his right to freedom, because prior to learning to read and write he couldn’t form his thoughts in words. Furthermore, knowledge is power and we should never take for granted these liberties.


5 thoughts on “We Weren’t Always Allowed to be Educated – Brittney Phillips

  1. alyssabacchioni says:

    I really agree with your post about how we see freedom and education as a right and not a privilege. I am guilty of complaining about how I have to go to school when I don’t want to wake up so early and so on, but I rarely stop and think how lucky I am that I even have the opportunity to attend college and further my education. I think that we need to realize, like you said, that knowledge is power and use that to better our society and those around us and give a voice to those that are still left voiceless.


  2. christopher says:

    When I presented on Douglass’s piece, this thought also crossed my mind. I thought about how hard it was for people like Douglass to simply read and write, and how easy it was made available to me when I was that young. Needless to say I never take my education for granted and am very thankful for it. Similar to what Alyssa said, there are times when I don’t want to go to college for a number of reasons, but then I remember stories like Douglass’s and feel thankful that I even have the chance to learn more and realize how precious that is. Knowledge is indeed power and I think reading stories like the ones you listed helped us all to remember that.


  3. sborkina says:

    I 100% agree with what you said. I feel that we take education and the ability to type into Google or any other search engine and get millions or billions of results in just a few milliseconds for granted. Most of us on a daily basis don’t think twice when reading a book or an article in a magazine- however reading and expanding your mind was not always allowed. Knowledge and being informed is so valuable and gives so much power to a person that we need to really take a second and just appreciate it.


  4. mlouisemora says:

    This also resonated with me! Sometimes I get frustrated with school and wish I could attend another institution. Or I’ll just complain a lot just in general about my life. But when I read this piece I was reminded once more of how lucky I am to simply have the ability to read, access to education, and freedom to pursue my goals whatever they may be. I realized I took for granted how truly lucky I was even to have the knowledge of the words and definitions that describe my thoughts and feelings.
    Douglass, slaves in his time, and even freed slaves after the Civil War struggled for literacy and other luxuries I now enjoy freely in our modern day society. After reading this, I made sure to humble myself and appreciate everything I was blessed with, that which was fiercely fought for in the course of history.


  5. I also chose to write about education because I feel as though it is a continuing topic of discussion. I like your take on this and how we tend to forget how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to receive an education. I always say how much I can not wait for school to be over with and forget to be grateful for the opportunities presented to us.


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