Describe how Douglass uses education as a tool for transformation. How does education serve as a way to empower himself and his community? What is the connection between physical freedom and mental/spiritual freedom?
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Douglass was able to first engage with abolitionism when he attained literacy. He also became fully aware of the reality of slavery; he wrote "[Literacy] had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out. In moments of agony, I envied my fellow-slaves for their stupidity" (36). Ignorance was thus a way for slaveholders to keep their slaves manageable, happy, placid, and content. Once a slave moved beyond such darkness into a world filled with understanding, he was only able to do what Douglass eventually did - attempt to escape from his bonds. Education was everything. Douglas strived to educate slaves which, he believed, would mean the end of slavery.