Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

What does Douglass learn about the white man's power to enslave the black man? How do you think this knowledge contributes to Douglass's feelings of self respect and reacial pride?

Chapter 6

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Douglass hears Auld explain that when a slave learns to read and write he is no longer fit to be enslaved; he becomes intractable, unmanageable, discontent, and rebellious. Douglass is flabbergasted at Auld's explanation and immediately decides he will do everything in his power to attain literacy. Literacy "enabled and empowered blacks to gain freedom from, and control over, the ruling culture that enslaved them" and how "literacy, as a tool of white hegemony, sought to exclude and dominate illiterate blacks." Douglass's Narrative exemplifies these realities.