Learning to Read and Write, by Fred Douglas

Essay by ktu818College, UndergraduateA+, November 2002

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"Life Experiences that we have in Common"

In "Learning to Read and Write" by Frederick Douglass, Douglass describes the hardships of his life. Even though my life experiences are different from Douglass in many ways, they are similar in many respects. Frederick Douglas lived through slavery, and in my lifetime I lived through the ends of the Cold War, Gulf War, terrorist attacks, and a time in which a person's right is being more and more protected, for example the Civil Rights Act of 1991. In Frederick Douglass's life they were many new regulations that modified the effects of slavery.

Frederick Douglass was brought up in slavery; as a small child he revolted against the system by breaking rules that were made to confine blacks. To read and write, he learned how to from a white person. When he learned enough, he decided to run away from his master.

To avoid capture he changed his name, so that it wouldn't seem to be a slave name. Later in his life he published his autobiography, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass". In fear of having his identity of a runaway slave being revealed, he fled to London.

There are many ways that Frederick Douglass spread his message of liberating blacks. He traveled throughout much of the North, speaking at antislavery meetings eand giving public lectures. He campaigned against slavery, but also for the civil rights of free blacks. Douglass soon became the leading black abolitionist and one of the most famous orators of the time. His enlightening words about his treatment as a slave were a powerful weapon against slavery. Douglass also rejected Garrison's philosophy that slaves must actively resist their oppression. Douglass believed in the right of slaves to rebel and the right of...