Analysis Of My Bondage And My Freedom

1885 Words 8 Pages
The autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom, by Frederick Douglass, illustrates the life and the journey of a born slave in Maryland, into liberation and the gradual understanding of slavery’s inconsistencies in general. He tells his story the public sphere, white non slaveholders, in hopes of helping them gain a better understanding of what slavery truly is from a first hand perspective. It starts off with a realization that he, his grandmother, and everyone around him belonged to someone named “old master” at a very young age. Growing up, he witnesses the violent lashings of his acquaintances, the horrific working conditions that were to be his future and the overall social status between him, an African man, and the white slave holders. …show more content…
In his book, The Souls of Black Folk, he attempts to sketch the “spiritual world in which tens and thousands Americans live and strive,” (DuBois, pg. 1). He calls attention the term ‘veil’ to describe a color line where white people, who live on the opposite side of the veil, cannot truly see what is happening to people of color under it. Because of the long history of enslavement and oppression, it is impossible for people of color to unify their African identity to the American one. Double consciousness, is when a person is able to see themselves as an individual and a person under the eyes of society as well. The acknowledgement of these two identities works together to help a person contradict the negative stereotypes inflicted in everyday life. Douglass gains this sight once he starts recognizing the power of …show more content…
Throughout his biography, he continues to ask why was he and many of his people were subjected to this horrific and demeaning system, and how the Europeans could not see the barbarity in slavery. Eventually, he was able to pinpoint the reason how the enslavement of millions of Africans was made possible and seen as a right when he explains, “To make a contented slave, you must make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision... to annihilate his power of reason,” (Douglass, p. 337). In other words, keeping the slaves ignorant and forbidding education takes away his ability to ask questions because he or she will believe that the system is common sense or “just the way it is”. His double consciousness served as a necessary factor to recognize it’s horrible nature. He realizes that the white men see him as a piece of property, born to work for the white men. Therefore, they forbid slave education to preserve the “nature” and “right” of slavery. However, he also recognizes that he was a human on the same scale as Europeans, because he was fully capable of learning, something that was considered exclusive to white people. The fact that the Europeans try

Related Documents