Frederick Douglass Inequality of Circumstances: The Experiences Term Paper

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Frederick Douglass

Inequality of Circumstances: The experiences of Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth

The experiences of Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth force Americans to rethink the idea that all people are created equal. This statement seems to imply that everyone who is a human being begins with the same basic tools of self-improvement. The idea that everybody has the ability to succeed, so long as they work hard, is one of the cherished ideals of America. America is supposed to be a perfect meritocracy, where all people are created equal. However, the experiences of these Black individuals highlight how equality is not based simply in personal merit or the state of being human. Equality depends upon access to social and economic opportunities. In their early lives, Douglass and Truth had neither, although they were able to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to literacy and advancement. But they were clear, in their later careers as writers and speakers that merely because they were able to advance, did not mean that all people could under their circumstances.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Frederick Douglass Inequality of Circumstances: The Experiences Assignment

Frederick Douglass was born a slave, in a world where her could be bought and sold. It was a crime in the South for a slave to be literate. Even an impoverished White person with little opportunities for advancement could legally learn how to read. Douglass could not. The ability to advance himself in a free and equal manner was inhibited by the legal limits of his age. Douglass' innate intelligence and merit is manifest in the fact that as an adult he was slowly and painfully able to teach himself to read, in secret as an adult. But although Douglass became a great writer and speaker, this hardly equates with being born equal. He was often forced to learn by trickery: "when I met with any boy who I knew could write, I would tell him I could write as well as he. The next word would be, 'I don't believe you. Let me see you try it.' I would then make the letters which I had been so fortunate as to learn, and ask him to beat that. In this way I got a good many lessons in writing, which it is quite possible… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Frederick Douglass Inequality of Circumstances: The Experiences."  Essaytown.com.  March 12, 2007.  Accessed December 1, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/frederick-douglass-inequality-circumstances/33325.