Jamarla's Summer 2013 Reading Project

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Written by: Frederick Douglass

What was it about?

Frederick Douglass' autobiography, The Narrative of the Life of a Slave, is about a man who learns to read, write, and obtain his freedom from slavery. He overcomes several obstacles to gain his freedom and uses his learned writing and reading abilities to become the powerhouse who helped others gain their freedom as well. He never allowed his situation to defeat his purpose, and chose to use his situation as a form of motivation to achieve more in life.

I can personally connect to Douglass' choice to use his situation as a form of motivation to achieve more in life because I am a survivor. When I was in high school, my father passed away which left my mother without a second income to provide for our family. I chose to help my mother by working while my friends partied at night and on weekends, but I finished at the top of my class. Douglass' autobiography reminds me of an article I read last semester, "From Homeless to Harvard" where this young gentleman did not allow his homelessness to prevent him from studying, doing his best, and finishing high school at the top of his class. His hard work paid off when he received multiple scholarships that provided him a free tuition to Harvard University.

One theme that I took from this story is that ignorance is the truest form of slavery. The more knowledge you afford yourself, the better chances you have of remaining free and most successful.

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