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Audience in Fredrick Douglas Narrative

Audience in Fredrick Douglas Narrative
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Audience in Fredrick Douglas Narrative
Fredrick Douglas is an incredibly crucial character in African American History. His autobiography titled “Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas-An American Slave” exposes the suffering which he and other slaves underwent in the hands of white Supremacists. Unlike other slaves, Fredrick is quite intelligent. He teaches himself how to read and write despite strict warnings from slave owners against education of slaves. This education proves to be a blessing because he is one of the few slaves who manage to write a book to highlight the plight of the slaves. This book is addressed to the white population in America. The main audience in this book is the white people especially the slave owners who have been mistreating the slaves. He feels that he needs to correct the white people perception of the African American slaves. First, he addresses the issue of inequality in the American society. He tries to show the white supremacists that African Americans are normal human beings just like the whites. According to Douglas, the white people did not believe that slaves were human beings (Douglas, 2000). This was the reason for the gross inequalities between the whites and the slaves. For example, he points out that no black child could tell the date of their birth, while their white counterparts could. This is due to acute lack of information because the whites made ensured that the slaves were kept away from information as much as possible, including basic things such as dates. In this book, Douglas accuses the whites for equating the slaves with animals. The whites subjected the slaves to the same treatment as other animals such as pigs, horses and sheep. It is clear in this book that he wants his audience to see the slaves as human. He highlights the humanity of the slaves and castigates structures of inequality which…

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