Life as a Slave in the autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

Life as a Slave in the autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

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I don’t know why my life is of interest to you, as far as I’m concerned, I didn’t do anything miraculous, like raise the dead or cure cancer. But if my story will motivate someone to fight against human injustice, then I will tell you all about it. My story began as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, on a cold February day around 1818, in Talbot County, Maryland. I was born into slavery, to a black woman, Harriet Bailey, and a white father, who I would never know. They took me from my grandmother at six years of age, to begin the life of a field slave, where I was beaten, forced to eat from a food trough, like and animal, and sleep on the bare floor. Two years later, after my owner’s death, his wife sent me to serve her brother-in-law on his plantation. Life on the Thomas Auld Plantation was a little easier. It was there, I first began to learn to read and write, from my master’s wife and other white children in the area. The more I read, the more I had to read. It was like a fire ignited in me that could not be extinguished. You see, it was through my reading, that my opposition to slavery was shaped. I began to rebel against the laws, by teaching other slaves to read and organizing religious church services. After seven years of good conditions, because of my continuous rebellious actions, I was sent back to the hard life of a field hand. I was sent to a man named Edward Covey, who was also known as “The Slave Breaker”. He was known to beat slaves, until they gave into his will, and I was treated no different. His constant abuse could have broken me, as a matter of fact, it almost did. I was only sixteen and I knew I could have been killed for fighting a white man, but I couldn’t take it anymore. During one of...

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...n of the all-black Massachusetts 54th Regiment in 1863. And yes, I also helped with the 14th Amendment, which gave full citizenship to African Americans, and the 15th Amendment, that guaranteed the right of all citizens to vote.
I lived a good life, with a great, supportive wife and five kids. And even after Anna’s death, I managed to get a second wife, despite all the controversy, who happened to be both a white feminist, and twenty years younger than me. On February 20, 1895, at 77 years of age, I died. Some say a heart attack, while others say a stroke. I say, don’t say how I died, but say how I lived. If I can encourage someone to continue to fight for any injustice, discrimination, or inequality to any human being, then my life was worthwhile. My Motto……
Right is of no sex – Truth is of no color – God is the Father of us all, and we are all brethren.

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