Fredrick Douglass

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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The above readings take us into a past of which America is still in denial about. We are taken on a journey into the fields, cabins and manors of the plantations of the South. Here we revisit one of America?s darkest moments in history. Human beings are forced to suffer the most savage and inhuman treatments. Entire families were stolen from their homelands and forced into a life of slavery. Once in America these families were divided and sold to the highest bidder as if they were mere cattle. Infants still suckling on their mother?s breasts were viciously torn from their tender embrace. They were forced to accept the fate of never seeing each other again. Rapes, whippings and beatings were everyday occurrences for these people. African?s lives were treated as property. They were bought and sold like bushels of apples or bags of grain. The injustices inflicted upon these people left stains on their offspring that are irremovable.

The sting of slavery and racism can still be felt on the heart and souls of Afro-Americans today.

America?s industries and enterprises? fortunes are a result of slavery?s heartless iron hand. As a result of the slave labor, eighty percent of America?s riches should have been paid to their righteous descendants. America has not stepped up to the plate and restored its spoils to the descendents of these former slaves. Instead America has excluded its victims from its spoils.

In Autobiography and Fourth of July Douglas explores the relationship between slaves and their masters. He highlights the hypocrisy of the slave masters and the ignorance of the slaves. Learning to read breaks Douglas out of the bondage of ignorance. Today?s lack of education is also keeping many Afro-Americans in a position of bondage. Racism has affected all plateaus of the Afro-American...