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Collectivism In Frederick Douglass

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Frederick Douglass, a former slave and slave writer of the An American Slave, Writer by Himself, shares his personal experience of being a slave. He was slave from the time he was born to about twenty years old. Unlike most slaves during his time, he was exceptionally intelligent. While he was slave, he established a secret Sabbath to teach his fellow slaves. In the paragraph above, he demonstrates an individualist and a collectivist personality. Throughout Douglass’ slave narrative, he discussed the inside and outside perspective of a slave. As a child and young adult, he would teach himself by going through his former slave master child’s handbook study books. During the slave period, it was illegal for one to teach a slave, and a slave…show more content…
He defines individualism as “the concept of giving priority to one’s own goals over group goals over group goals and defining one’s identify in terms of personal attributes rather than group identifications” (2013). Douglass taught his fellow slaves as stated, “it was a delight of my soul to be doing something that looked like bettering the condition of my race” (Douglass, 1845). Douglass demonstrates to try to reach the highest level of intelligence, and starts to teaches his own race to improve the condition of the lack of intelligence from this community, and to protect his…show more content…
Myers defines collectivism as, “giving priority to the goals of one’s group (often one’s extended family or work group) and defining one’s identity accordingly” (Myers, 2013). Douglass starts his Sabbath school to better educate the slave community. He knew that his fellow slaves and himself would be at risk of abusive physical punishments, but he went through the risk of physical beatings in order better his own community. Frederick understood that slaves are not able to be learn academics, but he deeply knew that bettering the community would be to establish a Sabbath school. Not only would this improve the intelligence of the community, but lift up their spirits of a happier lives. Douglass challenge his community to act on education, by conducting Sabbath school sessions. In conclusion, Frederick Douglass was a man that wanted to better his own life and better the lives, who are a part of the slave community. He was both an individualist and a collectivist, due to the fact he wanted to educate himself to become more intelligent, and he wanted to educate the slave community to allow them to succeed academic, under the circumstances during the slavery
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