By Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.
I am connected on FaceBook to a ‘social media’ of individual lives who are unafraid and unashamed of Truth. For clarity, my ‘Bio Statement’ is very poignant in this. Just below my name you can find a purpose-driven life as “A #TruthSeeker and A #LoverOfKnowledge”.
This will not be an easy task; this revelation regarding “Knowledge is Biblical. Education is not.”
In that 2022 American life, culture, and being, thinking, and doing is so systemically bound by this “Great Divided Aisle” which wages war against… Truth. There is a natural tendency among us to listen and hear with our own limited perspectives; ready to respond in antagonism. I invite you to see that you are “either learning or teaching” —in every dialogue.
While we have been given by the definition of these two most powerful words, (even in their English forms), a synonymous understanding, I can now see —strictly by revelation alone, that these two words are polar opposites and must be seen IN and OF —themselves!
Between 1740 and 1834, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Alabama all passed ‘Anti-Literacy Laws’. SC 1740. GA 1770. VA 1819. MS 1823. NC 1830. LA 1830. AL 1831. Missouri (admitted as a Slave State in 1821) 1847.
“Whereas, the having slaves taught to write, or suffering them to be employed in writing, may be attended with great inconveniences; Be it enacted, that all and every person and persons whatsoever, who shall hereafter teach or cause any slave or slaves to be taught to write, or shall use or employ any slave as a scribe, in any manner of writing whatsoever, hereafter taught to write, every such person or persons shall, for every such offense, forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds, current money.” South Carolina Act of 1740. (Revised 1800 & 1834).
“That all meetings or assemblages of slaves, or free negroes or mulattoes mixing and associating with such slaves at any meeting-house or houses, &c., in the night; or at any SCHOOL OR SCHOOLS for teaching them READING OR WRITING, either in the day or night, under whatsoever pretext, shall be deemed and considered an UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY; and any justice of a county, &c., wherein such assemblage shall be, either from his own knowledge or the information of others, of such unlawful assemblage, &c., may issue his warrant, directed to any sworn officer or officers, authorizing him or them to enter the house or houses where such unlawful assemblages, &c., may be, for the purpose of apprehending or dispersing such slaves, and to inflict corporal punishment on the offender or offenders, at the discretion of any justice of the peace, not exceeding twenty lashes.” Virginia Revised Code of 1819. (Revised 1830).
Georgia’s 1829 Anti-Literacy Act
Sec. 11. “And be it further enacted, That if any slave, negro, or free person of colour, or any white person, shall teach any other slave, negro, or free person of colour, to read or write either written or printed characters, the said free person of colour or slave shall be punished by fine and whipping, or fine or whipping at the discretion of the court; and if a white person so offending, he, she, or they shall be punished with fine, not exceeding five hundred dollars, and imprisonment in the common jail at the discretion of the court before whom said offender is tried.”
Assented to, December 22, 1829. George R. Gilmer, Governor (First enacted 1870).
Here, for me, lies the most significant analogous directional in seeing the gravity of this revelation: “Knowledge is Biblical. Education is not.” — Education is ‘Legislated’!
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