What A Black Man Wants By Frederick Douglass Analysis

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No Better Than Slaves
Following the Civil War, America was in shambles. There were many groups with strong, conflicting ideas of how things should be. However, most groups had one idea in common: reducing the rights of African Americans as much as possible. Freed slaves had very little freedom under the law, were treated like a lesser species by those around them, and faced dangerous environments everywhere they went. Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation may have legally freed slaves, but African Americans were barely more than paid slaves.
During Reconstruction, African Americans’ freedoms were very restricted. There were strict regulations on voting, relationships, employment, firearms, and other freedoms that white people had. African American faced disenfranchisement for years after being freed and becoming citizens. In What a Black Man Wants by Frederick Douglass, Douglass angrily demands the freedom to vote that every American deserved. He assesses the black man’s contribution to society and wonders why this contribution has not led to more rights. Those who were supposed to be fighting for the rights of freed slaves were not speaking up. Even the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society was not fighting for the rights of the freed slaves. Because of the restrictions on voting, African Americans did not have the same power over their own lives that white people had. Disenfranchisement is just one way white people limited freedoms of freed slaves.
African Americans

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