Essay on The Convict Lease System, By Frederick Douglass

1140 Words Sep 13th, 2015 5 Pages
In ‘The Convict Lease System,’ Frederick Douglass discusses the reasons why black people made up about ninety percent of convicts, which most of the blame for that is put on the whites in the essay. Why does Douglass say that the exclusion of black people from White religious institutions serves as a catalyst for their convictions and why does he also hold White people responsible for the conditions of this system? African-Americans were convicted in immense amounts during the 1880’s. Not only were they convicted, but they were also treated in a way that seemed to be a by-product of slavery. Black people were excluded from public locations and were “left up to grow up in ignorance and vice.” They weren’t given a chance to be part of daily activities among whites, and had separate schools and churches for themselves. They were disregarded in the community and needed to circumvent around their restrictions to try to live a somewhat normal life. Whites “deliberately shut him (black people) out of everything which tends to make for good citizenship.” Douglass’s use of straightforwardness about the black people 's living conditions, leaves no room to doubt the harsh conditions they suffered. By explicitly stating that there is no room for black people to reform from their bad inclination, shows Douglass’s judgment that white people play a major role in the conviction of many black people. African Americans aren 't innately bad. It takes the nurture of their surroundings to…

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