I think you did an awesome job seem to really taken your time. I really enjoyed reading your paper.Jacqueline Moore
Literacy in Medieval Times and During SlaverybyReginald Creary 


In this paper and on this page, I plan to define literacy over a period of time. I plan to discuss medieval literacy, literacy during slavery and religion’s role in literacy. It is my belief that there was a desire for a greater relationship with God that drove literacy during those times. To read more about this, see below...


ARTICLE ANALYSES
Analysis of Medieval Literacy Outside the Academy: Popular Practice and Individual Technique

Cheryl Glenn's focuses on a "broader vision of medieval literacy practices in Europe." She ..."circles aroud issues of orality, memory, and religion as I investigate the literacy practices of the comparatively uneducated populace in medieval England, practices typified by Margery Kempe."

Academic Literacy Practices
Alternative Literacy Practices
The Range of Medieval Literacies
-vocalized reading of monks
-literatti (courtiers and clerics) spoke and wrote in Latin
-affairs conducted orally within "textual community"(498)
-literacy is usually thought of in general abstractions or developmental techniques (499)
-text was not always written
-oral record, memory and reperformance was used.
-laypeople read with ears and not eyes
-listening was the popular practice
-literacy was based on text but not dependent on it.
Popular Literacy The Practice of Margery Kempe
-Kempe is fluent with biblical texts
-She is recognized as an important English woman
-First woman to compose life story in English
-She gives voice to the medieval women(500)
-"literacy becomes a medium of textuality"
-"an expert scribe can intrude into the author's narrative" (501)
-some readers are scribal(502)
-The Book of Margery Kempe is examined.
-Kempe gives voice to the illitteratae
-She did not actually do the writing of her text
-She was literate despite an inability to read and write
- "..."illiterate literacy" is a prominent feature of medieval popular literacy"(500)
-access to written information is necessary for literacy
-written, oral and memorized texts influence the literate and illiterate (501).
-some readers are aural (502)
The Role of Memory in Popular Literacy
-culture is linked to written texts
-Kempe has doctinal discussions with bishops
- She had Bible learning
-She uses Gospels and other devotional literature
-literacy of secondary orality
-memorization is greatly used by Kempe
-memory and recitation arfe used because books are scarce
The Role of Religion in Popular Literacy
-"The Christian religion... was a major force in textualizing medieval popular literacy practices of reading, listening, reciting and memorizing..."
-"Christianity elevated the status of the written word
-Kempe is examined by the Abbot of Leicester
-Kempe's aural knowledge of Church doctne was sound.(503)
-She verbally defends herself and religious beliefs against Archbishop of York (504)
Indvidual Technique and Production
Kempe was able to do what the devout was directed to do, which is: "love Jesus in his humanity, attend the Virgin and participate in the joy and grief of the Christian story..."(504)
-Her story would be seen as a "loosely organized narrative" by twentieth century readers(505)
-Kempe emphasized religious, moral points, and subtle Church doctrine in her book
-pastoral responsibility by clergy is stressed (506)
Kempe's book provides an active response to her religious education
-Her book is composed as cyclical and associational.
-her book is ordered like that of Bible
stories(504)
-her story depended on "others bringing her story to light"(505)
-her literacy stresses the link between the uses of Christianity for daily living and as a vehicle for the word of God (507).
The Implications of Medieval Popular Literacy
-ordinary literacy practices are confirmed through Kempe"s work
an account of popular medieval literacy is given
-our traditions of literacy is expanded and redifined(507)
-Kempe's movement during her composing process is traced.
-Kempe depended on the pen and lips to tell her story(507)
Glenn's article allows for a better understanding of literacy according to medieval times and thie literacy practices during this time. She points out prejudices that may occur because of today's definition of literacy. The use of specific literature, The Book of Margery Kempe, helps to explain the role of religion in the medieval literacy practices. Analysis of "We Slipped and Learned to Read:" Slave Accounts of the Literacy Process, 1830-1865"The present study compiles and measures evidence from former slaves on specific aspects of the literacy process:which slaves learned to read and write, what levels of litercy they attained, who taught them, the context...and why slaves were taught or taught themselves."

Literacy for Religious Reasons
Literacy for Liberation
Pre Civil War
-Conservation of piety was the prime motive
-Some Slaveowners taught their slaves to read but not to write
-Most slaves who learned to read on their own, did so for religious reasons (171).
-reading allowed slaves to assume religious leadership.
-the slaves who learned to read had more opportunities for learning then they other slaves. They held ministry,government and education positions (175).
- Some owners taught their slaves because they believed in education (178)
-Former Slaves mentioned religion more than any other context as the reason whites taught slaves.-The owners felt the slaves should be able to read the Bible. They did not want the slaves to get the notion of freedom (179)
-Slaves who learned on their own credited religious reasons more than any other factor (181)
-former slaves believed that their owners taught them limited parts of the Bible.
-this caused a desire to unhlock the Bible's power through the black preacher.
-often times the black preacher was also the teacher
-slaves learned to read and write in Sunday schools(182)
-Some slaves wrote their own passes and escaped slavery
-literate slaves taught other slaves to read
-Slaves and Slaveowners had to keep the teaching quiet to avoid danger (173)
-a common form of punishment for being able to read and write was amputation.
- 16.5% of the former Slaves who read and wrote considered themselves urban (175)
-Former slaves attributed their literacy to themselves, children, and other whites/slaveowners
-Slave children usually learned from their white playmates.
-Some slaveowners hired white teachers for their slaves.
-The white children also taught the adult slaves who tended to them (177)
-slave initiated learning depended on opportunity and desire while white initiated learning did not. (179)
-slaves were creative in getting tools for reading and writing(180)
-literate slaves were chosen to travel with their masters so that they could write home if something happened to the masters
-literate slaves also spread the news of the war and upcoming freedom(183).
Post Civil War
-"Many former slaves who wrote their own narratives were ministers
- they credited their religious aspirations for their desire for learning
-the desire to learn to read came after the conversion and desire to preach for most preachers
-"slave narratives reinforce the connnection between reading and preaching"
-"...the religious context for learning provided a chance for leadership"(182)
-after slavery, many of the literate blacks took public leadership positions like scholars, writers, presidents and founders of colleges, government positions and businessmen. (183)

Cornelius' article gave a view of literacy from the slave's perspective and reasons for their desire for literacy. In the face of grave danger, some slaves sought literacy for both religious reasons and for freedom. This religious desire is can be compared ot hat of the layity from medieval times. It is amazing to see how that desire seemed to stand the test of time.

RESEARCH PAPER
In this paper I plan to define literacy over a period of time. I plan to discuss medieval literacy, literacy during slavery and religion’s role in literacy. It is my belief that there was a desire for a greater relationship with God that drove literacy during those times. Today’s definition of literacy merely means to read and write but in medieval times, literacy was defined as being able to speak, read, and write, in Latin. This is a foreign concept to me, because of the difficulty that I sometimes face when speaking and reading in my own language, much less another language.
Religion had a major impact on the literacy of the medieval people. In order to participate in church services, the lay people had to be able to communicate in Latin. Because they were not fluent, they were considered illiterate. Most of the people in Europe were illiterate in some way or another (Bauml 237). To get over this hump and strengthen their relationship with God, the Priests or Preacher had the lay people repeating what was said. This was one way to circumvent the issue of illiteracy. The desire to find out more on their own grew and the lay people learned to read and write and not just speak in Latin. The Lay people had services in their homes as well. These services did not always include the clergy, therefore the lay people had to become literate to perform the rituals and read the scriptures. The public services involved memorization and public reciting. Because of their commitment to memorization and orality the literacy of the medieval people was based on text and did not depend on text like it does today (Glenn 498). In other words, the medieval people were able to function without being literate according to today’s definition of literacy. To further expound on this concept of illiterate literacy, Glenn gives the example of The Book of Margery Kempe. This is an example of literature that is not written by the author. Kempe gives an oral account of her story and it is transcribed. This was done because Kempe could neither read nor write (Glenn 500-503). She goes into detail about her religious beliefs and practices. Kempe does this by using the popular literacy practices of the time which include telling, listening, explaining, and retelling (Glenn 506). The actions of Kempe to get her story out parallels my thoughts of that burning desire that these individuals had for deepening their relationship with God. The medieval people were not the only ones that took the extra step, or went above and beyond in a quest for literacy because of their faith.
During the pre- civil war period, the issue of literacy was a little different, yet that eagerness for a relationship with God was there. Most slaves were illiterate because their Masters did not want them to get any ideas of escaping. This presented danger for the slaves who decided to take things into their own hands and attempt to learn to read. They faced severe physical punishment that could lead to death. Amputations and whippings were among the possible punishments that the slaves, who learned to read, tried to avoid. In spite of these dangers, there were slaves who felt that they needed to educate themselves and learned to read. There were several reasons for wanting to read, for example the promise of “…mobility and increased self worth“(Cornelius 181). Two major reasons for wanting to read were the possibility of freedom and religious reasons. The most cited reason for slaves wanting to read was religion (Cornelius 171). Many of those who learned to read became preachers. By learning to read the slaves were not limited to the Bible teachings that their masters restricted them to (Cornelius 172). It was in the church as well that most of the slaves learned to read. Some learned from their Masters, on their own, or from other slaves, but most slaves learned to read from their preachers in church.
The burning desire to have a personal relationship with God caused the slaves to learn to read, even with the knowledge that this choice could cause them to have to face death. This desire was also present in medieval times and caused the lay people to break the barrier of learning a different language in order to pursue their relationship with God. The impact that religion has on people is amazing and the things that were done in the name of faith is inspiring.


Scholarly Texts:
1. Cornelius, Janet."We Slipped and Learned to Read:" Slave Accounts of the Literacy Process, 1830-1865" Phylon.Vol. 44, No. 3 (3rd Qtr., 1983): pp. 171-186. Published by: Clark Atlanta University
2. Glenn, Cheryl. "Medieval Literacy Outside the Academy:Popular Practice and Individual Technique," College Composition and Communication.Vol. 44, No. 4 (Dec., 1993): pp. 497-508. Published by: National Council of Teachers of English.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/358385
3. Bauml, Franz H. "Varieties and Consequences of Medieval Literacy and Illiteracy." Speculum Vol. 55, No. 2 (Apr., 1980), pp. 237-265. Published by: Medieval Academy of America. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2847287