by Sam White
May 12, 2010
Many years ago, America was a segregated country . . . with many white people prejudiced against black people, making them their slaves. Although many people went along with this injustice, there were many that stood against it. One of those brave individuals was Frederick Douglass, an African American slave.
Some slaves were transported from Africa to America. But some unfortunate persons were born straight into slavery. Frederick Douglass was one of those unfortunate persons. Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, later known as Frederick Douglass, was born in Talbot County, Maryland, February 14, 1818. When Douglass was born, his mother was separated from him and eventually died when he was a mere seven year old. It is rumored that his father was a white man named Aaron Anthony, a slave owner.
As Douglass became a young man (roughly twelve years old), Aaron Anthony died, and young Douglass was shipped to Thomas Auld in Baltimore. While he stayed with the Aulds, Douglass slowly learned to read and write from when Mrs. Auld read the Bible aloud. Soon Thomas Auld sent Douglass to work for a man named Edward Covey. But Douglass, being a rebellious sixteen year old, fought against Covey and Mr. Covey lost. Covey didn’t try “breaking” Douglass again.
In 1837, Douglass met Anna Murray, a free black woman. Douglass was now determined to become free. After some failed attempts with previous slave owners, Douglass made another run for it. He got on a train that was headed to Havre de Grace, Maryland. After that train he bordered yet another train that was going to Wilmington, Delaware, and from there he got on a steam boat to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and eventually reached New York, were he was a free black man at last. Douglass was resolute on informing northerners and Great Britain, on the abuse of African Americans.
Frederick Douglass became an abolitionist. He subscribed to a journal titled The Liberator. The owner of the journals was William Lloyd Garrison. Douglass was familiar with Garrison and had heard him speak at several antislavery meetings. Douglass was unexpectedly asked to speak at one of these meetings. “After giving his story, Garrison encouraged him to become an antislavery lecturer.” (Wikipedia) Douglass pursued it. And in 1843 he spoke at the American Antislavery Society Hundred Convention, in front of hundreds of people. Douglass moved so many people. He also eventually became a woman suffragist, an editor, an orator, author, statesman and a reformer.
Frederick Douglass is truly and American hero. He was a light in a time of darkness. He spoke out when many couldn’t. I think he is some one that can resemble the Christian faith. As Christians it’s our job to be a light in times of darkness, and speak when others can’t or should. So I hope that next time you feel like giving up or being silenced, remember the great American hero, Frederick Douglass.
Sam White (SP)