Professor Lou Turner
Humanistic Perspectives of African American Studies
Frederick Douglass’s Autobiography
The article about Frederick Douglass’s autobiography really gave an inside look at the way slaves were so severely mistreated by their masters. It also really exemplifies how valuable an education is. Before actually getting into Douglass’s autobiography, the article begins by discussing how compelling Frederick Douglass’s story was. He was a black man born into slavery and was able to runaway and escape. He was self-educated, he taught himself how to read and write. When he spoke and shared his story people really sympathized. The way that slaves were treated in the south was a lot different from how they were treated in the north. When white people in the north heard Douglass’s story, they were shocked at the cruelty. Without having been able to read and write Frederick Douglass would not have been able to make any of the great accomplishments he made and his story would not have been able to be spread to the masses in order for people to see just how ugly slavery is.
When the article actually goes into Douglass’s Autobiography, the reader really gets a glimpse of how inhumane slavery was. He talked about how he never really knew his mother as a child. He was separated from her as an infant and she would sometimes travel 12 miles by foot in the middle of the night just to see him. When she died, he described his remorse to be equivalent to if a stranger he’d only known shortly had died. He could not be sad because he hardly knew her. He was not entirely sure but suspected that his white master was his biological father as well. He also discussed how there was no justice for slaves; they were equivalent to an animal in the eyes of the white man. Slave masters could kill their slaves and there were no consequences for the murder. He talked about the dehumanization that slaves went through. They had been reduced so...