September 17, 2014
Practice & Vocation: The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass managed to escape the horrors of slavery to enjoy a life of freedom like many others in the nineteenth-century. His distinctive personal drive to achieve justice for his race led him to devote his life to the abolition of slavery and the movement for black civil rights. His oratory and extraordinary achievements formed a legacy that expands his influence until this date, making Frederick Douglass a role model for all generations. Douglass’s Narrative shows how white slaveholders preserve slavery by keeping their slaves ignorant. Many people believed slavery were a normal thing, They believed blacks were not capable of participating in civil society because of their heritage and should be just kept as workers for whites. Slave owners would never tell slaves basic facts about themselves such as their birthdate or their paternity in order to keep them ignorant. As slave children grew older, they were prevented from learning how to read and write, as literacy could make them self-sufficient and capable. Slaveholders feared that literacy would spark questions about the whites keeping them enslaved. Also, slaves could not write or tell their side of the slavery story to other parts of America because they were kept illiterate. One of the most noticeable themes in the narrative involves the association of literacy with freedom. The acquisition of one caused his desire for the other. In occasions, he had regrets about his acquired knowledge because he still didn’t have the ability to change his status as slave, which made him feel more miserable than ever. However, Douglass's ability to tell his story in his own words definitely contradicted the commonly held belief at the time that slaves were incapable of communicating through the standard conventions of American literature. Douglass's uncertain relationship to Christianity is another...
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