With this, he decides that after years of not knowing what slavery was, and years of having to hide in the shadows, Douglass was ready to shine light on the American Slave System. Frederick Douglass believes that slavery is terrible for slaves. In the narrative, Douglass tells the story of his early life as a slave. Douglass knew nothing much about himself. He did not know his own age, or who his father was.
Slavery coincides with ignorance, just as education coincides with freedom. Slavery relies on ignorance to maintain order and control over slaves; thus, preventing slaves from recognizing the empowerment of education, and the ability it possesses to equip them in the pursuit of freedom. Frederick Douglass’s pursuit of education helps him discover the hidden truths of slavery in his article, “How I Learned to Read and Write.” Thus, Douglass’s pursuit of education inspires his desire for freedom. The desire to learn generates determination and motivation. While still a young slave, Douglass’s master forbids his wife from continuing to teach Douglass the alphabet because it did not align with the common worldview that educated slaves had no value to their masters.
Most wealthy southerners were unwilling to do this. They believed that an economy based on cotton and slavery would continue to prosper". This shows that Slaves and cotton were very important to the Southerners. In conclusion, slaves in the south were important people because they managed to do so much stuff with the least number of things. For example, they had their own cultures and they kept that religion going on even through the roughest times in their lives like being separated from their family, or even getting a whipping for no reason.
In “My bondage, My freedom”, Frederick wants people to understand that African Americans are being treated unfairly and should not be slaves. He uses his personal experience to show how life is being a slave and how he was treated unfairly. Lifes hard as a slave and African Americans have done nothing to deserve this. He says “Nature has done almost nothing to prepare men and women to be either slaves or
It is discussed that the lives of black American did not improve significantly as racism was entrenched in governments and white Americans, especially southerners. Although amendments and acts sought out to better the lives of black Americans, it did not mean they were immediately treated as equal and given rights. Black Americans had a very difficult life post-Civil War as the rest of America was not prepared to stop depriving them of their civil rights as it was beneficial to them to have black Americans kept under oppression. The abolition of slavery cost slave owners over $2 billion in property only. This severely impacted the economy as it was in crisis and white slave owners did not have any slaves to serve them on plantations.
After escaping slavery and seeking freedom in the North, former slaves would often write their testimonies of the cruel life on the southern plantations. One of the best and most recognizable examples of this genre is “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” whose author, Frederick Douglas, became an important figure not only in literature but also in history of fighting for civil rights. He was born into slavery and raised by the grandparents because his mother was assigned to work in a field far away and was not allowed to stay with her son. Life at the plantation was full of abuse and cruelty, which he could witness from a young age by seeing his aunt being whipped. He described slaves’ fear of their masters that often took pleasure in punishing and whipping their property; the hardships of fieldwork where blacks would work all day with only few breaks for meals or how the owners were impregnating black women in order for them to produce more, free laborers.
Slavery is equally a mental and a physical prison. Frederick Douglass realized this follow-ing his time as both a slave and a fugitive slave. Douglass was born into slavery because of his mother’s status as a slave. He had little to go off regarding his age and lineage. In the excerpt of the “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave,” Douglass discusses the horrors of being enslaved and a fugitive slave.
Mr. Shelby was relatively kind to his slaves but did not care much about them. He was not a abolitionist. What he wanted to protect was not his slaves but his own reputation. Mr. Shelby represented those people, at that time when the book was published, who were just like grass on the top of a wall which swayed with every wind, or the so called fence-sitters towards the question that whether slavery should be kept or banned. The relatively tragic destination of Mr. Shelby indicated that the slavery should be prohibited beyond all doubt.
It did not make Douglass a weak person or dependent it was simply out of his comfort zone. Also, Douglass did talk about his life as a slave. Where he witnessed first hand of cruelty. Where he saw his aunt get whipped for crying, for being a women, and simply for being black. “He would whip her to make
“Defenders of slavery claimed that slaves were better off under that system of their own. Their masters provided for all their needs, so slaves did not have to be responsible for their own food, clothing, or housing.” Although they were given food, clothes, and a place to live, they were still treated in a very inhumane way. Slave owners abused them, called them every name that could possibly belittle them. That was normal for slave owners and slaves at the time, but now this type of behavior is illegal. Every slaves dream was to finally be free and to live out their dreams even if it meant they were going to struggle.