Frederick Douglass

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It was once said that with great power comes great responsibility. It gives one great power to overcome great obstacles. Frederick Douglass adulthood was full of these great accomplishments because he thrived on his intellect, but it wasn't without hardcore struggles as a slave that fueled his passion to accomplish. The purpose of this essay is to directly pull events in Frederick Douglass' youth and times in slavery to his political ideologies, because we ultimately know that overcoming obstacles builds character. Douglass' political standpoints are formed on the ideological bases of legalism, moralism, and also accommodation. So to fully understand his beliefs, we must look at his traumatic enslaved childhood. Thomas Auld, the master of Frederick Douglass in Baltimore, said a nigger should know nothing but to obey his master-to do as he is told to do. (pg. 57) He was referring to the wrongfulness of his wife's attempt to educate Frederick Douglass, this was the view held by most whites toward African Americans. But it is Douglass who was diligent in his quest to learn to read and gain an education. As McCartney lays out in his book, if being an accommodationist means the attempt to arrive at a non confrontational modus Vivendi or way of living with the status quo and promising an education system that promotes that, then Douglass is also an accommodationist. So I derive from Douglass' struggles from trying to read under the Auld's house is where his spirit of accommodationism comes from. Douglass had many, many battles with learning, from his food for an education from a white boy to him starting an illegal school for blacks, but having that basic hunger for knowledge; Frederick was determined to teach himself to read. This is one of the most amazing aspects of Frederick Douglass, that someone, especially a young slave, could teach himself to read. His resentment for slavery grew with the knowledge he gained from reading more and more. For Frederick Douglass,...
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