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Learning to Read and Write
When you were younger did you ever take a minute to think about how you started to read and write? What made you decide to pick up that pen or pencil and just jot down your feelings, your surroundings? Perhaps it was for school because you were "made" to write and read for the class or reading and writing were in your nature. However reading and writing for some people were never easy: they took motivation, dedication, being independent and possibly even teaching themselves. Fredrick Douglass and Malcom X are classic examples of famous writers who struggled with both reading and writing. I would like to focus on one of the main reasons for their success, which was being self-motivated, which is a key element.
Frederick Douglass was a run away slave in Maryland when he was about twenty-one. He was a very smart, friendly man who desired to read and write. It wasn't easy for him but with his dedication he made it happen. Douglass being a slave in Masters Hugh's house for seven years, he wanted to thrive in learning to read and write. His mistress at first was taught him how to learn but it soon came down to the fact that Douglass was a slave and soon her husband forbid her to teach. That did not stop Douglass. Douglass said, "…making friends of all the little white boys who I met in the street. As many of these as I could, I converted into teachers"(98). Douglass took something so simple and turned it into learning. This was just one-way he taught him self to learn to read and write. He took every opportunity to sneak in a lesson before he returned home. No ever told Douglass to go out and do any of this. He wanted to learn on his own and he did anything he could to make that happen. He had kept a book called _The Columbian Orator_, which was a collection of speeches, poems and plays, and every moment he got he would read that book. The dictionary brought rarely any help to him when he came across the word...
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