Education during the Antebellum America:

 In 1860 up to 5% of slaves attained at least a marginal degree of literacy. In cities and sizable towns, many free blacks and literate slaves had greater opportunities to teach others, and both white and black activists conducted illegal schools in cities such as Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Charleston, Richmond, and Atlanta. African-American preachers would often attempt to teach some of the slaves to read in secret, but there were very few opportunities for concentrated periods of instruction. Through spirituals, stories, and other forms of oral literacy preachers, abolitionists, and other community leaders imparted valuable political, cultural, and religious information. Even though mistresses were more likely than masters to ignore the law and teach slaves to read, children were by far the most likely to flout what they saw as unfair and unnecessary restrictions.

"To educate a man is to unfit him to be a slave." - Frederick Douglass.