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Fredrick Douglass the Political ActivistWhen you think of influential black leaders who comes to mind Some familiar names are Dr Martin Luther King Jr Malcolm X and Jesse Jackson Before all these greats there was Fredrick Douglass the pioneer of major black social movements Frederick Douglass stands as a powerful symbol of African American leadership and perseverance due to his ability to re-claim manhood create space for African American political involvement and breaking silence through oratorical declamation Growing up and gaining manhood is very important in every young boys life Fredrick Douglass grew up and never personally knowing his father The memory of his mother was blurry as well She lived a little more than twelve miles away from were he stayed He recalls one of his mothers rare visits She had walked the twelve mile to see me after along days work and brought me a ginger cake I drifted off to sleep and the next morning she was gone I do not remember ever seeing her again Foner 15 Fredrick spent his early childhood with his grandparents in their slave cabin When Fredrick Douglass turned 8 years of age he moved to Baltimore Maryland to live with Hugh Auld to be a household servant This marked one of the turning points in Fredrick Douglasss life in becoming a man During his stay with the Hugh family he developed a burning desire for literacy Hearing his new mistress Sophia Auld read the bible and other literacys fueled Douglasss desire to learn how to read Sophia taught Fredrick three or four words but the lessons ended as soon a Hugh Auld learned of the teachings he said learning will spoil the best nigger in the world Foner 17 However the flame was already lit Fredrick began teaching himself how to read He went as far as pulling schoolboys aside in remote places and turning them in to schoolteachers Young Fredrick Douglass would get old news
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