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Education of Slaves

            During the years of slavery, education was an extremely controversial issue among these individuals. The entire nation's economy depended heavily upon the free labor of slaves, which made so many oppose the idea of abolition. The main fear in the education of slaves was that they would revolt; and the southern economy would collapse, therefore, causing detrimental effects on the country's economy as a whole. Despite slave owners" attempts at limited or no education for their slaves, due to their fear of slave rebellion, these individuals overcame the cycle of dependence, but not without the teaching initiated from their ancestors.
             Many slaves were encouraged by members of the previous generation to explore various aspects of their African ancestry, culture, and education. On most plantations, slaves were not allowed to educate their children. However, many chose to violate the laws of their masters and concentrated on teaching their children how to read and write in hopes that such knowledge would contribute to their survival. Adults were forced to show them how to handle the inhumane acts and degradation carried out by the whites without losing their spirits . This, above all, was the most important thing that they were taught. Such education started at a young age when slave children were introduced to gangs to do work in the fields. .
             Paul Boyer makes a convincing argument that another subject, which was a major issue in the lives of the slaves, was respect. They were to respect their parents above anything else. They were punished when they did not listen. If one's master called him or her at the same time that a parent called, children were expected to come to the parent rather than the master . Of course, problems resulted; and the child would be punished by whomever he or she disobeyed. This caused children to resent both groups, but parents continued to go to extremes to teach their children respect .

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