From Bondage to Freedom (Fredrick Douglass)

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From Bondage to Freedom

In the early days of slavery, Frederick Douglass published a narrative that will be forever remembered in history. “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” is a recount of the harsh life on the plantations before his escape to New York. He describes the senseless acts of cruelty on the part of the masters, as well as the degraded lives of the slaves. This narrative provides a powerful description how ignorance was used as a tool for slavery, the damaging effects on slaves and slave owners, and the knowledge to the path of freedom for African Americans. Although the journey that Douglass suffered through was hard and extensive, he made his mark in the world and it is still appreciated today. Frederick Douglass was born in a slave cabin, in February, 1818, close to the town of Easton, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Frederick Douglass, whose full name is Frederick Augustus Washington Baily, was abandoned by his mother when he was just a baby and then was raised by his grandparents. Douglass never knew his father and according to him and nearly everyone, "…opinion was also whispered that my master was my father” his father figure was a white man ( NLOFD, 1). When Douglass was around the age of six, his grandmother took him to the plantation of his master and left him there. He stayed there with his master for about two years then he was relocated around the age of eight where he was sent to Baltimore to live as a

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houseboy with Hugh and Sophia Auld, relatives of his master. Not long after his arrival his new mistress taught him the alphabet. The lessons soon came to a cease when Hugh said “learning will spoil the best nigger in the world” (Chapter 6). When her husband forbade her to continue her instruction, because it was unlawful to teach slaves how to read, Frederick took it upon himself to learn. This marked the turning point when Frederick Douglass started to become a man. Frederick Douglass’ narrative was written...
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