the desire to educate and be educated
Besides those who worked diligently to establish several foundations for schools after the Emancipation Proclamation, dedicated students and teachers were one of the main elements in keeping education alive and gaining equal rights for years to come. Taking on any of these roles from the year 1865 and on was no easy task, yet the freed people were determined more than ever to fight for the schooling they deserved with the help of their supporters. Their fight for equality through literacy led many enemies from the South to react in a negative way. Many of the students and teachers experienced instances of violence and hatred towards them simply for the sake of learning. Fueled by unlimited amounts of motivation, the freed people would do anything to learn even if that meant tension would arise. The information below provides a sense of what schooling was like from a student and teacher perspective, and the struggle many went through to earn an education in hope of gaining equality in the future.
"The long, long years of law against slaves learning to read has created in them a deep determination to master all the difficulties that lie in the way of gaining knowledge now that a way is opened."
-National Freedmen's Relief Association