Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Frederick Douglass (a black male role model)

I have just finished reading "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave."

Of course I have read other material about Mr. Douglass in the past, but this experience was quite different.

In this case, I was reading his first hand account of his life as a slave, up to the time of about 1845 which would have made him all of 27 years old.

To briefly illustrate the eloquence and tone of the book, note the following:

"I was broken in body, soul, and spirit. My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!"

"You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man."

"My long-crushed spirit rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its place; and I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact. I did not hesitate to let it be known of me, that the white man who expected to succeed in whipping, must also succeed in killing me."

Frederick Douglass, born into slavery, taught himself to read and write. Remember, a slave who could read was considered a danger to the very system of slavery.

This volume should be highlighted to black males. He is truly a role model for the challenges facing black males discussed on this site and others.

Low academic achievement, high unemployment, low graduation rates, etc., are but a few of our modern day issues.

I believe a close read of this book and seeing the world as Mr. Douglass saw it, would do wonders to motivate today's black males to conquer the world now as we see it.

Your thoughts?

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