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Great Civil Rights Activists, Frederick Douglass

1248 words - 5 pages

Francis Ishioye
Frederick Douglass
The great civil rights activist Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on a Maryland Eastern Shore plantation in February 1818. His given name, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, seemed to portend an unusual life for this son of a field hand and a white man, most likely Douglass's first master, Captain Aaron Anthony. Perhaps Harriet Bailey gave her son such a distinguished name in the hope that his life would be better than hers. She could scarcely imagine that her son's life would continue to be a source of interest and inspiration nearly 190 years after his birth. Indeed, it would be hard to find anyone who more intimately embodies this year's Black History Month theme, "From Slavery to Freedom: Africans in the Americas." Like many in the nineteenth-century United States, Frederick Douglass escaped the horrors of slavery to enjoy a life of freedom, but his unique personality drive to achieve fairness for his race led him to devote his life to the abolition of slavery and the movement for black civil rights. His fiery oratory and astonishing achievements produced a heritage that stretches his influence across the centuries, making Frederick Douglass a role model for the twenty-first century. No doubt that the major turning point in Douglass’s life would be his fight with Covey
Frederick Douglass, who was born into slavery around 1818, will forever remain one of the most important figures in America's struggle for civil rights and racial equality. As an ex-slave, his inspiration grew beyond his boarders to reach the whole world. Without any formal education, Douglass escaped slavery and became a respected American diplomat, a counselor to four presidents, a highly regarded speaker, and an influential writer. By common consent Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845) is recognized as the best among the many slave narratives that appeared before the Civil War. He amazed people when he spoke bravely in his Fourth of July speech. He spoke out opposing oppression all over America and abroad, and his struggle for freedom, self-discovery, and individuality stands as a testament for all time, for all people. Although some people accused him of lying, exaggerating, and using his narrative and his renowned Fourth of July speech as part of an abolitionist plot, Douglass was able to obviously demonstrate his talents, sensitivity, and intellectual ability by revealing the truth about the lives, culture, and psychological struggles of American slaves.
To be able to use Douglass’s Narrative as well as his Fourth of July speech as historical sources, one must distinguish between facts and opinions. Facts within both sources can be considered as historical base because they were written by a person who lived, experienced, and suffered in the same time and place of the events. People can learn and understand history from historians and autobiographers like Douglass. His opinions share...

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