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Frederick Douglass And Slavery

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Abolitionist Frederick Douglass was the most distinguished and

influential black leaders of the nineteenth century. Douglass focused his

writings on the harshness and brutality of slavery. He describes in many of his

books accounts of his own experiences as a slave. A reader is able to perceive a

clear image of slavery through Douglass' words. His writings explain the effects

of slavery and the struggle to overthrow it, as well as the condition of free

blacks both before and after the Emancipation, the politics of the Civil War,

and the failed promise of Reconstruction the followed.

As a child, Douglass was taught how to read by Sophia Auid. She was

drawn to the questioning mind of Douglass. Her husband however, put a stop to

this stating the teaching of Douglass to read would, "Spoil the best nigger in

the world... forever unfitting him for the duties of a slave."

As a slave child some experiences were hard to describe. Douglass

witnessed, as a child, what he called a "horrible exhibition." He lived with his

Aunt in one of the master's corridors. The master was an inhumane slave holder.

He would sometimes take great pleasure in whipping a slave. Douglass was often

times awakened by the screams of his Aunt. She would be tied and whipped on her

back. The master would whip her till he was literally covered in blood. "No

words, no tears, no prayers...
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