The legendary abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass was one of the most important social reformers of the nineteenth century. Being born into slavery on a Maryland Eastern Shore plantation to his mother, Harriet Bailey, and a white man, most likely Douglass’s first master was the starting point of his rise against the enslavement of African-Americans. Nearly 200 years after Douglass’s birth and 122 years after his death, The social activist’s name and accomplishments continue to inspire the progression of African-American youth in modern society. Through his ability to overcome obstacles, his strive for a better life through education, and his success despite humble beginnings, Frederick Douglass’s aspirations stretched his influence through
Douglass is a African American that was a slave and did a Narrative about his time being a slave and in his Narrative he “threw light” at the American slave system. African American slave Frederick Douglass lived through a time of racism and how slavery was a natural thing to do but was a very awful thing. And slavery is when families who had colored skin were separated and sold of to a person that can do anything to them, the slave is pretty much like the slaveholder’s property. And in this essay I will talk about how Douglass’s position differs from those who supported slavery and also I will be talking about How Douglass used his Narrative to share his position.
Frederick Douglass’s narrative provides a first hand experience into the imbalance of power between a slave and a slaveholder and the negative effects it has on them both. Douglass proves that slavery destroys not only the slave, but the slaveholder as well by saying that this “poison of irresponsible power” has a dehumanizing effect on the slaveholder’s morals and beliefs (Douglass 40). This intense amount of power breaks the kindest heart and changes the slaveholder into a heartless demon (Douglass 40). Yet these are not the only ways that Douglass proves what ill effect slavery has on the slaveholder. Douglass also uses deep characterization, emotional appeal, and religion to present the negative effects of slavery.
When the United States created the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, they preached the idea of rights, freedom and equality. Frederick Douglass gave a speech on July 4th, 1852, where he explained how hypocritical it actually was. In Frederick Douglass’ speech, he states how slaves are not included in the Declaration of Independence. He argues that slavery is the sin and shame of America.
In “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, Douglass narrates in detail the oppressions he went through as a slave before winning his freedom. In the narrative, Douglass gives a picture about the humiliation, brutality, and pain that slaves go through. We can evidently see that Douglass does not want to describe only his life, but he uses his personal experiences and life story as a tool to rise against slavery. He uses his personal life story to argue against common myths that were used to justify the act of slavery. Douglass invalidated common justification for slavery like religion, economic argument and color with his life story through his experiences torture, separation, and illiteracy, and he urged for the end of slavery.
In 1776, on July 4th, the 13 English colonies officially declared their freedom from England. However, as the years progressed, slavery became incorporated into everyday American life. In 1852, Frederick Douglass, a former slave, was called upon to deliver a speech to celebrate America’s independence; however, he censured Americans for saying they were a “country of the free”. In the speech, Hypocrisy of American Slavery, Frederick Douglass declares that Americans should not be celebrating their freedom when there are slaves living in the country. He uses emotional appeal, ethical appeal, and rhetorical questions to convince his audience that Americans are wrong celebrating freedom on the 4th of July when slavery exists in their country.
Once he escaped slavery in Maryland, Douglass began to lead the abolitionist movement that were taking place in New York and the state of Massachusetts. His leadership, writings, and use of voice allowed for Douglass to achieve and receive great recognition. In New York, Douglass was asked to give a speech to a crowd of believers and supporters of the abolitionist movement. The name of this speech was called, “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” In this speech, Douglass explains how although the fourth of July may appear to be a happy and exciting holiday for where people can celebrate their independence, it is a sad day for African Americans.
“The Hypocrisy of American Slavery: Slavery at its best” Frederick Douglass an activist for anti racism and also an abolitionist’s speech “The Hypocrisy of Slavery” was given on the occasion of celebrating the independence day. Here, in this speech he actually brought out some questions like why we should celebrate Independence Day while almost four million people were kept chained as a slave. He actually mocked the fact of the people of America’s double standards which is that they are singing out the song of liberty, on the other hand holding the chain of slavery. Frederick Douglass, a former American-African slave who managed to escape from his slavery and later on became an abolitionist gave this speech on Fourth of July,
Freedom is the primary ideal upon which America was founded. It is the tenet most cherished by the original colonists; it is a pillar upon which they built the new government. However, freedom was denied to a large part of America's citizens for a long time. Frederick Douglas was one of the greatest activists for African-American freedom of the 19th century; he used literary works and speeches, instead of violence, to achieve his goals. In his piece "What, to the Slave, is the Fourth of July?"
He questions his audience of the significance of Independence Day to slaves, and he answers it in an extremely contrasting way: “your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; … your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery,” that the celebration is “a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.” Douglass dismisses the national pride, characterizing it as a mere expression of people’s ignorance. The antithesis, with “greatness” being “vanity,” “sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless,” and “shouts of liberty and equality” being “hollow mockery,” provokes shock and anger from the audience, who have just been part of it and are now degraded as “savages.” However, Douglass was not trying to be inflammatory but provocative, witnessing the pathetic enthusiasm in the anniversary, that people feel exuberant about themselves while ignoring the saddening
Group Essay on Frederick Douglass “That this little book may do something toward throwing light on the American slave system”, and that Frederick Douglass does in his eponymous autobiography. Douglass throws light by dispelling the myths of the slave system, which received support from all parts of society. To dispel these myths Douglass begins to construct an argument composed around a series of rhetorical appeals and devices. Douglass illustrates that slavery is dehumanizing, corrupting, and promotes Christian hypocrisy. Using telling details, Douglass describes the dehumanizing effects of the slave system which condones the treatment of human beings as property.
The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass shows the imbalance of power between slaves and their masters. In his book, Douglass proves that slavery is a destructive force not only to the slaves, but also for the slaveholders. “Poison of the irresponsible power” that masters have upon their slaves that are dehumanizing and shameless, have changed the masters themselves and their morality(Douglass 39). This amount of power and control in contact with one man breaks the kindest heart and the purest thoughts turning the person evil and corrupt. Douglass uses flashbacks that illustrate the emotions that declare the negative effects of slavery.
Fredric Douglass wrote, “What to the Slave is Fourth of July” in 1852. In this speech to the American public, Douglass states how great of a country American “was” and how great the forefathers “were”. In contrast to those statements he professes his reasoning for freeing slaves. However, Mary Rowlandson wrote, “A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” in 1682. This captive narrative takes place during the King Philips war, and depicts how the native Americans treated their prisoners of war.
Fredrick Douglass is one of the most famous abolitionists the United States has ever seen. The events that led up to his freedom of slavery were very interesting. In his Narrative you not only get to see the worst of slavery, but you can also feel firsthand what Douglass went through to get his freedom. As we all know slavery was something you could not just walk out of. Some slaves that try to escape even end up getting punished or killed.
To many, the Fourth of July was a day to celebrate the anniversary of the United States signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776. However, to others it was a day to realize the injustices and brutality that many people lived in. Frederick Douglass was not only an African American political activist, but also an extraordinary speaker who desired to abolish slavery. He addressed the problem of American slavery from a slave 's point of view throughout his notorious Independence Day Speech At Rochester when he said, “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.”