From Slave to Abolitionist

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While researching the history behind Frederick Douglass’ transition from a slave to an abolitionist, I found a few primary sources that he himself authored on the subject matter. Through various mediums such as letters, speeches, and autobiographies, Douglass is constantly providing his audience with a vivid and candid story of slavery and the consequences that those still enslaved faced. I was able to obtain a greater understanding of Douglass, and his own personal insights into slavery, and the abolitionist movement. My goal in this paper is to provide readers a better understanding of Douglass from what I gleaned while shifting through his primary sources. To be able to see the abolitionist movement through the eyes of a man who himself was born into slavery, escaped from bondage, made his way north, and worked to bring freedom millions of souls, I hope will allow readers to understand the urgency that Douglass himself had felt when fighting for the end of slavery in America. To achieve my goal, I will be breaking my paper down into major sections accompanied by supplemental subsections when needed to provide greater emphasis. In the first section, I will focus on Douglass’ slave background, including his decision to escape from slavery, and the impact this would have on him as well as his reasoning for joining the abolitionist movement. In the second section, I will detail a letter written by Douglass to fellow abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe on how to render continuous aid to the effort of freeing those still enslaved. In the third section, I will focus on a speech delivered by Douglass on the prospective present and future for people of color. In the last section, I will present my conclusion and attempt to summarize all... ... middle of paper ... ...tate of the colored people in America before planning too far in the future. In time, Douglass believed that colleges and high schools would be needed for colored people. Immediately they didn’t need these things. They needed skills so as to obtain the work they needed to pull themselves out of poverty. When they had mastered their skills and elevated themselves further, then would be the appropriate time for colored people to begin attending universities so that their community might be able to boast doctors and lawyers and other positions of note. This advice seems to almost mirror Douglass’ own journey. Before his second and successful attempt at escaping from slavery, Douglass had dreamed for years about gaining his freedom. When he realized how afraid his masters were of him learning, he knew that becoming literate would be the stepping stones to his freedom.
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