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Essay on Frederick Douglass: Social Reformer

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Fredrick Douglass began life in a difficult position. Born into slavery, he did not have the good fortune of having a parent to attend to him. He witnessed unspeakable cruelty daily, which undoubtedly caused him a great deal of emotional distress. Yet, he never gave up on himself. Throughout his life, he continually sought to better himself through any means available to him. Against all odds, Douglass made tremendous strides in his efforts to better himself, and he eventually succeeded in achieving his ultimate goal of escaping from the horrors of slavery. One of Douglass’ first endeavors on his journey of self improvement was to become literate. Upon coming to live with Mr. and Mrs. Auld, he says that he found his new mistress to…show more content…
Fredrick Douglass also came to exude a great sense of racial pride as his life progressed. At first, his only perception of his people was that of a lowly slave nation. Yet, he was dedicated to trying to improve their lot. After his fellow slaves learned that he was literate, they “insisted that I must keep a Sabbath school.” He agreed to this proposal because he felt that the only shot his “brothers” had at gaining their freedom was through the power of the written word. Later, when he and his fellow slaves were jailed after their plans to escape to freedom were revealed, he states that “our greatest concern was about separation.” Douglass felt a sense of responsibility and kinship towards the members of his own race, and was loath to break these bonds. His racial pride reached its peak when he saw the houses that the free blacks in the North lived in. Douglass proudly writes that “I found many, who had not been seven years out of their chains, living in finer houses, and evidently enjoying more of the comforts of life, than the average of slaveholders in Maryland.” When Douglass saw how well some of his kinsmen were living, he could not help but change his impression of his people being a downtrodden slave nation. He came to recognize his race for what they truly were: a people equal in stature to any other, even the lofty Caucasians. Throughout his life, Douglass proved adept at adapting to the situation at hand. He was a
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