Frederick Douglass : African American Abolitionist Essay

1336 Words Sep 21st, 2016 6 Pages
Frederick Douglass is a well-known African-American abolitionist. He often wrote about his experiences growing up as a slave. In one of his works, “Learning to Read and Write,” Douglass discusses the obstacles he had to overcome in order to gain an education while enslaved. Many modern citizens can relate to his story; today, many Americans have to work many hours in order to get the basic necessities for their families. In order to escape economic slavery, Americans need an education to provide for their families. Douglass encounters many struggles that inhibit him from learning to read. Growing up a slave for Master Hugh was difficult for Douglass. In the beginning, Mrs. Hugh was teaching Douglass to read until Mr. Hugh instructed her to cease teaching him because slaves were not supposed to be educated. Douglass states, “The first step in her downward course was in her ceasing to instruct me. She now commenced to practice her husband’s precepts” (61). Mrs. Hugh was no longer able to teach Douglass due to her husband’s orders. When Mrs. Hugh changed, it became harder for Douglass to learn. Mr. Hugh explains that slaves should not be educated in any way, including reading and writing. She began to treat Douglass poorly to satisfy her husband’s orders not to teach a slave. Although Mrs. Hugh was no longer able to teach Douglass, he still continued to have a passion for learning to read. Throughout the narrative, he goes through many struggles to become educated,…

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