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The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass

1041 words - 4 pages

During the 18th and 19th century slavery became a thriving concept in the United States, especially in the south due to the rapid expansion of the cotton industry. Many stories told through the grapevines that have all impacted those who listen to the trials and tribulations these slaves took on during this time in the United States. However there are certain individuals who have the ability to give you a perspective of slavery that some could not achieve. Frederick Douglass, a well knowledgeable freed African American gives the insight to slavery in his own narrative. In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick reveals the truths behind slaves’ lives, the culture of slavery, as well as the psychological struggles these American slaves endured during this time period.
Unlike the majority of colonist who fled to the new nation to escape issues in their former home, slaves’ were instituted into the trans Atlantic slave trade. From there, this is where slaves’ lives began to develop. When the Trans Atlantic slave trade began, numerous slaves were shipped into the Americas when the Portuguese search for gold fell short, they resulted in a much more plentiful commodity. A commodity of Humans developed to benefit the expanding of the European empire and their need for a work force. With the original inhabitants slowly dying off to disease, the desire shifted towards the African Americans since they expressed hard working characteristics, as well as resistant to certain diseases and capable of withstanding the long and exhausting work days in the heat of the south. From there the potential of slave lives would not develop much. As Frederick Douglass describes his experiences with a past master, it helps get a sense of what slaves had to endure during these times. Douglass starts by saying how he “suffered much from hunger and much more from cold…[he] was kept almost naked…[he had to] sleep on the cold, damp, clay floor…[their] food was coarse corn meal boiled…called mush…[the children would eat] like pigs.”(Douglass 59-60) With Frederick Douglass’ slight insight on the way things were for him, you can imagine how it was for other slaves and the lives they lived, some experienced things so much worse than what Frederick Douglass had to endure while others were quite lucky if compared to Frederick Douglass.
Secondly and one of the most important aspects of American slavery is the culture of American slavery. Culture is defined as many different things, it is a form of non-verbal communication that can be expressed through physical appearance as well as the environment one lives in, it is any form of social interaction, the way slaves worshiped, as well as so many other things. The ideal practice of slavery was to keep the individuals as uneducated and leave them ignorant to their original cultural identity. Slave cultures were limited to the master’s culture boundaries, especially on smaller farms. In the eyes of the slaves, all...

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