One thing I like to do every week is read
my favorite comic books. Now on’t get me wrong, I like to read books too, but I love reading
comic books and seeing what my favorite superheroes are up to.
What about you? Do you like reading comic books? Maybe you like playing video games
and you have to read what is on the screen, to pass on to the next level.
No, maybe you like going on the internet and playing games, or talking to people. Well
whether you know it or not you are reading. But what if you weren’t allowed to read? I
know that sounds like a silly question, but what if it were against the law for you to
read? Well in American history during slavery African
Americans were not allowed to read. It was against the law for slaves to read, or even
have someone teach them how to read. This is where the next person in African American
history I want to talk about stood up as a leader and an abolitionist.
An abolitionist is someone who wanted slavery to be stopped, and they spoke out against
people who used African Americans as slaves. Right now that person I want to talk to you
about is one of the most famous African American abolitionists, by the name of Frederick Douglass.
Known as the most recognized African American leader before the civil war, Frederick Douglass
was born a slave. He never knew his father, and was separated
from his mother earlier in life. This is where as a slave he moved from plantation to plantation,
until one slave owner’s wife helped him learn the basics of reading. Now like I said
before at that time teaching slaves to read was against the law, and when her husband
found out he stopped her from teaching Frederick. Although he didn’t have a teacher Frederick
was still smart. Frederick wouldn’t be stopped in growing and learning how to read. He watched
other white children who learned in school, and taught himself how to read later.
This got him into trouble because he also taught other slaves to read. When his master
found out he would beat him, because he did not want other slaves to learn reading like
Frederick did. Frederick eventually stood up to the beatings,
and one day borrowed the papers of a free sailor and escaped to the north.
When he arrived in the North he found other people who were against slavery too. Like
I talked about in the beginning these people were called abolitionists.
Frederick was really good at talking and speaking in front of people and when he told the abolitionists
about how he was treated as a slave Frederick impressed them.
Frederick later wrote a biography about his life. The biography told about everything
he went through in life. Many people read Fredrick’s biography, but this put him in
danger, because he was afraid that his master from the South would come to the north and
capture him knowing he had escaped. This cost Frederick to escape to Britain.
He would return years later once he had made enough money to purchase his freedom. Upon
arriving back Frederick spoke out during the civil war.
When it came to Frederick Douglass he had respect all the way up to the White House.
Think about it like this, the president today is Barack Obama. Wouldn’t it be cool if you
could talk to Obama and he would listen to you? Well Frederick Douglass had the ear of
another famous president who would listen to him. That’s right, Frederick Douglass gave
advice to President Abraham Lincoln. Frederick convinced Lincoln to give more weapons
to African Americans to help fight with the Union soldiers in the Civil War.
Now being a great leader in history, Frederick spoke out against the poor treatment of African
Americans in the United States. Many looked at Frederick’s life and thought why didn’t
he just escape slavery and live out his days in peace as a free man. But that wasn’t
in the cards for Frederick. This was something that he knew he couldn’t do. It was not
acceptable to just go out and live a free life while others while others were being
treated poorly. So for standing up and speaking out against slavery and the poor treatment
of African Americans, Frederick Douglass will always be one of the greats in African American
History. Frederick Douglass for Kids(Cartoon Biography)
Educational Videos for Students (Black History Month)
Frederick Douglass was a African American leader and an impact on slavery, the civil
war and black history. With our Educational Videos for Students share a cartoon biography
any month for kids & families about the life and times of Frederick Douglass.