’ Reading On Slavery Essay, Research Paper
The first thing came to my mind after reading Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave was how lucky and blessed I am to have the freedom without having to fight for it. As a foreigner, I only had a little knowledge on African American enslavement. However, Douglass well explained not only his, but also other slaves sorrow and sadness in a short length autobiography. I was crying and shouting with the joy of utterance, even though what he has described in the book cannot nearly depict everything he went through.
I truly admire his courage, determination, and wisdom. When he was moved to Baltimore, he strongly pursued his education, which becomes the strongest tool for him; he explains, Baltimore laid the foundation, and opened the gateway, to al my subsequent prosperity (p.39). Even though he encounters many hardships (wish of most masters to keep their slaves thus ignorant) in educating himself, he wisely learns to write and read from children and his work (p.15). He was brave and strongly determined to continue his studying because he knew that knowledge could help him get his freedom, which he never had. For instance, he was able to write his own pass when he first tried to escape with his fellow slaves while he was working under Mr. Freeland.
Douglass was wise enough to benefit from both up and down times during his slave years. He took the chance and got educated while he was in Baltimore. Then when he was sent to cruel overseer Mr. Covey, he stood strong and recalled the departed self-confidence, and inspired himself again with a determination to be free (p.72). Douglass reminded me of the value of freedom when he fought against Mr. Covey, knowing that he could get killed doing so.
Because he was wise and brave, he was able to free himself on September 3, 1838. I was very excited; however, thought of other numerous slaves in South made me sad. Douglass and many other abolitionists like him, fought hard against enslavement, which ended in result of their efforts. Even though I am grateful that enslavement does not exist anymore, the fact that the people who went under slavery had to suffer tremendously from it irritates me. The way they were handled as Douglass described in the book saddens me because they were treated inhumane in everyway. For instance, the valuation of slaves well depicts how they were treated; there were horses and men, cattle and women, pigs and children, all holding the same narrow examination (p.52). Because I believe and know that everyone was created equal, one group of people controlling another cannot be justified.
Even though the slavery does not exist in this century, this book reminded me that I must not forget the past; the time when people had to fight for what they were entitled to: freedom. Moreover, I must respect and treat other people the way I want them to treat me. Finally, I must learn from the past and never make the same mistake.