Critical Reflection

687 Words3 Pages
In the book “self – taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom”, the author, Heather Andrea Williams, does a great job telling the story of the obstacles slaves faced in their attempts to become educated. Throughout the book, Williams gives numerous accounts of the experiences of these slaves and illustrates their determination to learn to read and write; as well as obtain a formal education. In my opinion, the most common theme that resonates with me after reading chapters one through nine is persistence; despite challenges, obstacles, punishment, and death, slaves were determined to become educated. One example of this persistence was demonstrated by Mattie Jackson. According to the author, Jackson made several attempts to become a free slave despite several unsuccessful attempts at freedom (Williams, 2005). Despite the odds, Mattie Jackson eventually escaped to Indiana with the help of other slaves though the Underground Railroad (2005). According to Williams (2005), Jackson challenged the notion of “…educational inferiority” and believed she was both capable and deserving of an education just like anyone else (p. 29). As I reflect on the story of Mattie Jackson, I think about my own research agenda as it pertains to persistence and access to education for African American males from marginalized communities; particularly those who may not be as motivated and determined as someone like Mattie Jackson. Although Mattie Jackson had to overcome several obstacles in her attempt to gain her freedom and become education back in the 1800s, African American males today have different obstacles to overcome; different in name perhaps, but yet so similar because collectively they are deterrents to education. In the presen... ... middle of paper ... ...illiams (2005) was successful in illustrating just how persistent Blacks were in overcoming barriers to becoming educated. Her many accounts of personal stories of slaves and former slaves support the prevailing theme of “persistence” throughout every chapter I had an opportunity to read. However, I do constantly ponder the question we discussed in class regarding the difference between Blacks during the early days and African Americans of today; what happen to that determination in our communities to become educated? Although answering this question could lead to several different theories on the state of education today, I do feel we must continue to engage in dialogue on the topic. Works Cited Williams, H. A. (2005). Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom. Univ of North Carolina Press.

More about Critical Reflection

Open Document