Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What Impact did Frederick Douglass have on America?

While reading the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, I couldn’t help but wonder what his impact upon America was. While researching this question, I have come to find that because Douglass was an African American who was able to read and write, he was one of the minorities among slaves. While reading was common place among the slave population of America, writing was disallowed because white America found that writing was a “Status Mark” and was not needed for slaves. (Wikipedia) Because Douglass could write, he was able to put into words the way that he was treated while a slave, prompting the masses to have a greater understanding of the plight of the slave community.  America also was able to understand what was being said about the treatment of slaves better, because the tales were coming from a person whom had lived the life first hand, not just someone who had just merely seen it.

Writing was not the only way that Douglass became a champion of the Slave; He was also a grand orator and was able to sway the opinions of the masses through speeches about the treatment of his brethren.  The plight of the slaves is not the only thing that Douglass was a champion of however; Douglass was one of the first African Americans to take up the cause of women’s suffrage. He was the only African American to attend the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls. (Wikipedia)

Throughout his life, Frederick Douglass was a man of the down trodden and abused. He was a champion of the underdog and his greatest impact upon America was a greater recognition of those who before were ignored, beaten, and forgotten.

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