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Cori Bennington
Dave Harper
Frederick Douglass
February 29th, 2016

Frederick Douglass was born in Talbot County with little knowledge of his history.
Douglass did not know his real age because he was separated from his mother at birth. He had
limited contact with his mother. She would sneak away from her plantation and walk miles to
see him. Douglass colorfully describe his life through his writing, which is remarkable because
of being enslaved for most his life.
In chapter seven, Douglass shows great compassion for learning how to read and write.
By age seven, his Mistress was able to teach him how to read and write. Douglass also gained
knowledge from white kids he met on the street. He says The plan which I adopted, and the one
by which I was most successful, was that of making friends of all the little white boys whom I
met in the street. As many of these as I could, I converted into teachers. With their kindly aid,
obtained at different times and in different places, I finally succeeded in learning to read. This
describes Douglasss personality perfectly because it showed his motivation to use his social
skills to get something in return. This was something that not all black kids could do. Although
Douglass had the privilege of reading and writing, he did not always think it was. It stood out
and shocked me when Douglass mentioned that sometimes when he read about slavery, he
wondered if it was a curse that he could read. He continued to explain that the words hurt so
much when reading about slavery that it even led him to suicidal thoughts. But on the bright side,
Douglass was able to teach and further his education, for example, by teaching himself about
abolition.
Although Douglass and I grew up in completely different circumstances, we both can
relate very well on our educational goals. Douglass was always determined to learn new things,
for example learning about womens rights. I share the same personality trait with him due to me
extending my education by attending college. I do not share the privilege to go to a university
like some of my friends because of financial situations, just like Douglass didnt get the privilege
to attend schooling because of racial situations. But, we both did whatever we could to reach our
educational goals.
Douglasss narrative helped me visualize Talbot County in a new point of view. The
history of education in Talbot County basically didnt apply to the African Americans only
because of color. It is amazing being able to read the words from a real slave and then to think
about my life today. Our society has changed so much from what Douglass describes in his

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writings. Douglass describes that during his time of being a slave, he learned how to write with a
lump of chalk and a brick wall. Reflecting off the chapters I have read about Douglasss life
during slavery makes me grateful for the education I have in my life.
In conclusion, Frederick Douglass was an unforgettable and intelligent man and will be
honored for the rest of eternity because of his bravery and accomplishments. Although, Douglass
started out not knowing much about his life, he ended it full of knowledge. I gained a new point
of view on my community by reading about Douglasss life. Also, it made me realize how much
society has changed to equality which race shouldnt matter.

Frederick Douglass - Robert B.Stepto - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press - 2009