How Did Frederick Douglass Split The African American Family

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In the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, slaves were trapped in slavery due to their bondage. Bondage of mind due to ignorance, having no education out side of the place they resided and worked, caused slaves to only be similar to their own surroundings and unaware of the opportunities and freedoms outside of what they knew. Slave owners kept it that way so slaves couldn’t create ways of escaping or rebelling. In a rare case Frederick Douglass is afforded the opportunity to read and write from his mistress from the Hugh’s family. Until his master stopped his sessions telling his wife “If you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell. A nigger should know nothing but to obey his master—to do as he is told to do. Learning would spoil …show more content…

Douglass states “My mother and I were separated when I was but an infant—before I knew her as my mother. It is a common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at a very early age.” As custom children fro a young age are taken away from their mothers and separated, the mother or child will be sold to a different master. Douglass was unclear of why exactly this happened this way but assumed, “unless it be to hinder the development of the child's affection toward its mother, and to blunt and destroy the natural affection of the mother for the child.” Separation prevents slaves to create bonds to rebel against their masters. Often families were separated too for the same reason or were unfamiliar with their relatives. Like Douglass, who has two sisters and one brother but didn’t have much of a relationship with them due to being separated with their mother from such a young age. Family was whom you work and struggled with, they were the ones who were your brothers and …show more content…

Slaves lacked knowledge of everything possible to keep them of not knowing what was taking place in the real world. Their birthdays, family and friends and dates were all kept secret from them. Slaves endured the most savage beatings at the hands of their masters, were raped, and deprived of food, clothing, and sleep. They were denied education and the pursuit of knowledge. Their masters capitalized upon their ignorance by deceitfully trying to convey to them that freedom was onerous and debauched (as in the discussion of the holidays). Slavery also ruined slaveholders, turning them from kind and fair individuals to abusing power and losing of their way. Slave owners were turned into abusive beast. They were also hypocrites, claiming to be devoted Christians but just turning around to abuse and mistreat their own slaves. Like Mr. Covey who thought as himself to be a good Christian man, Douglass says, “In this state of mind, he prayed with more than ordinary spirit. Poor man! Such was his disposition, and success at deceiving, I do verily believe that he sometimes deceived himself into the solemn belief, that he was a sincere worshipper of the most high God; and this, too, at a time when he may be said to have been guilty of compelling his woman slave to commit the sin of adultery.” Mr. covey is a first hand example of how slavery corrupted slave owners

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