Frederick Douglass's Power Essay

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The Source of Frederick Douglass’s Power Frederick Douglass was a Maryland slave who escaped to freedom in 1838. He began working as a lecturer for the American Anti-Slavery Society and later wrote an autobiography detailing his experiences in bondage. He was an important asset to the abolitionist movement because of his personal experiences, his intellectual capabilities, and his willingness to divulge specific details of his prior circumstances. Douglass’s personal experiences allowed him to help the abolitionist movement. A sexual meeting between a white man, probably Douglass’s master, and his mother, who could not refuse, resulted in his conception. He reported it as a common occurrence that usually resulted in the mistreatment of the…show more content…
William Lloyd Garrison noted his humility and compared his oratory skills to those of Patrick Henry. He would have been virtually incapable of persuading an audience of the evils of slavery without the intellectual training of education. When he lived in Baltimore, Mrs. Auld began to teach him the basics of literacy. However, when Mr. Auld found out, he admonished her actions as illegal and dangerous. His strong rebuke demonstrated the power of education to Douglass, who subsequently took it upon himself to learn to read and write in whatever way he could. These efforts coincided with his increased desire for freedom; he read about current events and the slavery debate, intensifying his dissatisfaction with his state. He later attempted to educate his fellow slaves, but local slaveholders put those efforts down when they discovered them; slaveholders preferred that slaves spend their spare time on alcohol, violence, or other degrading activities. Slavery naturally resulted in the degradation of the enslaved person; slaveholders took extra efforts to ensure that it remained so. The presence of an educated, well-spoken former slave challenged the oft-held ideas that people of African descent were mentally inferior to Caucasians and needed their guiding hand to survive. It would have become very difficult, if not impossible, for slaveholders to maintain the status quo had the
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