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It was illegal to teach a slave or a "free person of color" to read and write. Anyone caught doing so was often ordered by the court to be whipped in public. Slave owners believed if a slave was taught to read and write they would no longer listen and obey their master and would then be worthless.

More:There was an additional, ultimately far longer lasting reason for keeping African-Americans from learning to read or write. That reason was to prevent their prerogatives under the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution. Section 2 thereof ought to have effectively invalidated the ruling in the Dred Scott case, which counted persons of color as only 3/5 of a whole. Alas, two powerful parties ensured that Dred Scott remained in effect, and that is to put it kindly.

Firstly, the Radical Republican Congress of Reconstruction feared that increased representation gained by the South by the colored vote would weaken their own political power. Ironically, Southerners ensured their own under representation by presenting various barriers to the voting of former slaves, and later, the great-grandchildren of former slaves. One of the essential elements of this strategy was the literacy test. It was not until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that Federal authorities began to proactively intervene to ensure the rights of African-Americans to vote.

Another view:I must plead guilty to expanding the scope of the question somewhat. I would suggest, however, that in doing so I introduced no issue, which is not germane to the discussion. Besides, history clearly shows that slaves were not quite as ignorant as their "owners" had believed. Witness the many protest songs, which arose from slave culture, notably "Go Down Moses." It appears that while slaves may have lacked literacy, whites failed miserably in their interpretative skills. After all, what else could the line "let my people go" mean, when sung by a bunch of inferior beings? What a failure of imagination to understand that allegory can power an entire race of people, and leave a rich legacy to fly in the face of ignorant slave owners/racists!
They were not "unable" in the sense that they lacked the ability to read. In most places it was illegal to teach them to read. A literate slave might get ideas from things he read, about things like freedom, or how to get away, and where to go if he did. An ignorant slave is much more controllable.

It was even considered inadvisable to let domestic servants learn to read, for the same reasons.
Slaves can't read because as people kept slaves, they did not get the chance to discover how to read.
nobody would teach them... also it would make them as smart as the slave owners and they could revolt
because if the slaves were smarter than there owner then

the slaves could acomplish a lot of stuff and the owners would be useless
because if the slaves were smarter than there owner then

the slaves could acomplish a lot of stuff and the owners would be useless

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โˆ™ 2017-10-24 01:46:23
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Q: Why couldn't slaves learn how to read and write?
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Related questions

Were slaves allowed to read and write?

No they were not. The slaveholders were scared that once their slaves would learn how to read and write, they would write letters to other slaves with ideas of how to escape the the plantation

Could slaves learn to read and write?


Why did slaves not learn how to read or write?

They were afraid slaves were going to communicate with eachother

Where slaves allowed to learn read and write like Phillis Whitley?

No not at the time she was learning how to read and write.

Did harriet know how to read and write?

no because slave owners didn't want their slaves to learn how to read or write

Why did the freed black slaves need education?

so they can learn to read and write

How did literacy pervent freed slaves from voting?

They couldnt read properly

Why did some plantations owners not want their slaves to learn how to read and write?

They were afraid that if the slaves learned how to read and write then they would be able to fight for their freedom and rebel against the plantations and their owners.

How did Roman slaves learn to write?

Most Roman slaves never learned to read or write, those that did were either taught by another educated slave, or their master sent them to a Gramaticus (school) to learn. Also some slaves were teachers.

What rights were slaves denied?

learning how to write, read. those are two they couldn't learn how to do.

Who taught Frederick that slaves weren't supposed to learn how to read?

Mr. Auld taught Fredrick Douglas that slaves weren't suppose to learn how to read. In Mr.Auld's view if a slave learned to read and write they would not be fit to be a slave.

What elementary did Harriet Tubman go to?

She didn't go to school. She was a slaves and slaves weren't allowed, by law, to learn to read or write.

Were the slaves in the slave trade educated?

Some were educated but not all; some slave owners let their slaves learn how to read and write.

Did Harriet Tubman teach herself how to read and write?

No, she did not learn how to read or write because none of the slaves were allowed to be taught in case they used it for communication to escape.

How did slave owners keep slaves illiterate?

not allowing them to attend school to learn how to read and write

Why was there a high illiteracy rate among the slaves?

In many cases it was prohibited for them to learn to read and write

Were slaves allowed to learn how to read?

no they weren't, it was considered illegal because if they could learn to read, if they were freed or escaped they could make a life for themselves more easily. if they couldnt, they were still in the power of the white community at least temporarily, because knowledge is power

Does Harriet Tubman have books?

yes she had many but she did not know how to read them because the slave owners did not want the slaves to learn how to read or write. :)

Why did slave owners teach their slaves to read and write?

Slave owners did NOT teach their slaves to read and write. It was against the law. Besides, slaves were property.

At what age did Davy Crockett learn to read and write?

He did not learn to read and write at all!

Was prince estabrook educated?

no he wasnt he couldnt read nor could he write ! :)

How did some slaves learn how to read?

they were taught to read the bible

How did the laws against teaching slaves to read and write make a difference after the Civil War?

Jim Crow laws used this to stop former slaves from voting. To vote they had to read a section of the constitution, pay a poll tax, and write their name. Since they weren't allowed to learn to read or write it was a guarantee they couldn't vote.

Why were slave forbidden to learn how to read or write in the revolutionary war?

they werent forbidden they just simply couldnt.

What age did Christopher Columbus learn to read or write?

what age did christopher Columbus learn how to read or write

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