Douglass endured many awful and enlightening experiences in his early life. However, as he grew up, he believed that a rise in the number of slaves would end slavery as the power of enslaved would overthrow that of the masters. His tough treatment encounter, hatred for slavery, and desire for freedom led to the writing of the story regarding the life of Douglass. His history is vital because they offer something to connect with and gives ideas on living in the past and slavery.
Enslavement was a human rights violation act that only unity could solve because the sufferings were communal. Therefore, black or white people should work jointly without considering their race. Douglass, born a slave, observed many terrible events and crimes against humanity during his life in Maryland (Cahyawati 10). Since birth, slaveholders gained and kept authority over blacks by making them oblivious to elementary realities about them, such as their birth date and parents. These masters could whip the slaves, leaving their bodies oozing blood. However, such misconduct was considered usual in the community. According to him, when people are selected selectively, crime against humanity increases. The justice system should therefore make sure everyone is protected. It should treat people selectively and ensure the security of people from crimes against humanity.
Douglass did not lose hope despite his suffering under different slave masters. Even though it meant losing his life, he was determined to escape. He aimed to stop the poor treatment of blacks by their masters. This determination would help overcome the unending slavery, portraying the importance of being courageous and self-determined. People should be ready to meet the worst to achieve freedom. Douglass’ life and times also illustrate the importance of education. The slave children were not permitted to learn how to read and write as it could enlighten them on their rights. He reasoned that education was the only way to challenge the slaveholders’ power over their subjects. He says that Auld, a slave master, believed it was not easy to manage an educated slave. Slaveholders used the issue of lack of education to shut the slaves in mental darkness, this always keeping them loyal to their masters. According to him, education could expand people’s understanding of current issues such as human rights. This understanding could, in turn, enable them to fight for their rights hence overwhelming slavery.
Douglass saw the religious insincerity of the slaveholder while at Covey’s plantation. He says innumerable lives were affected by the slaveholders twisting religious elucidation to their benefit. Douglass also highlights the effects of alcohol abuse, among them being recklessness. The Christmas holidays offered to slaves were insincere and a crime to humanity. “The holidays are part and parcel of the gross fraud, wrong, and inhumanity of slavery” (Douglass 75). The slaveholders tricked the captives into getting drunk so as to ensure they could do nothing for their lives. These drinks kept the slaves from thinking about the abuses received during slave life.
Douglass’ history is vital because they offer something to connect with and gives ideas on living in the past and slavery. His audacious escape from slavery, persuasive eloquence, self-determination, and leadership on civil and women’s rights are accredited. Conversely, his ultimate message compelling the betterment in pursuit of social justice and democracy perfection process, which he believed would make America and the whole world great, should be acknowledged.
Cahyawati Erna. “The Spirit of Freedom against Dehumanization in Frederick Douglass’ The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave.” Semiotika: Jurnal Ilmu Sastra Dan Linguistik, vol 21, no. 1, 2020, pp. 1-10. UPT Penerbitan Universitas Jember, Web.
Douglass Frederick. “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Written by Himself: Electronic Edition.” Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895.