Frederick Douglass began a Bible study for the African Americans who couldn’t read and didn’t have access to the Bible on the plantation. However, it only lasted for so long until the slave owners found out and demanded against their practices. which in reality was going against the freedom of religion because most of the slaves were unable to read the Bible for themselves they depended on what the white slave owners claimed that was in the Bible to base their faith off of. Many of instances slave owners would take words and verses out of context in the bible in order to try to justify the inequality of slavery, as well as making the abusive and cruel punishments seem to be a necessary and justified process. Once again it is clear to see that the slave owners withheld information about the Bible from the slaves in order to make them believe that what they were doing was correct. The reality is that if the slaves were able to decipher the Bible as easily as the white folk the African Americans would be less tolerant of the abuse and pain they were put through.
Many slaveholders turned a blind eye to slaves because they believed them to be equal to them because of their skin color and where they were from. This ignorance was fueled by the entitlement of the white settlers that they are at the top of the food chain. In many cases, slaveholders did not take care of their slaves as they would their family they provided it only the most necessary elements of survival for the slaves which were shelter, food, very little clothing, and water. Slaves were not taught to be people so they were treated as such The white saw them as a tool that made them a few extra bucks.
Slavery took the greatest toll on the slaves because they had to work in every condition whether it be rain or shine hot or cold they were required to work. Slaves were very ill and weak when it came to their bodies. Physically however slaves are very strong and kept in shape because of all the work but most of all the slaves had scars from being whipped by a cow skin many slaveholders believed in whipping as a precaution or to prevent a mistake from being made. Unfortunately, many slaves grew numb to the abuse from a slaveholder as a witness. Meaning that if a slave was being punished cruelly the witness would turn their head and go about their business because they knew that no matter what they did their “help” would only hurt more than just walking away. Slaves were paralyzed in fear of the harm that could be brought to them. If this wasn’t the case slaves would have stood up for themselves more often than recorded. Mr. Douglas himself was traumatized as a child when he witnessed his aunt tied up so much so that she could only touch the floor with her toes and then beaten insanely by their master until the master himself was tired of beating Douglass’s aunt.
Frederick Douglass is a product of the use of knowledge as power seeing as he was able to break the so-called barriers when he learned how to read. Frederick was Somewhat fortunate in his life for the opportunities he was given for example he was a house slave at times so he did not have to work in such harsh conditions he was allowed freedom to go pick things up in the nearby town while he was at a plantation. Frederick Douglass took advantage of every opportunity presented to become smarter and refined. Frederick Douglass went on to be one of the most impactful civil rights activists in the era and many were changed because of him and his story and it all began with his ability to conceptualize literature. Freedom requires a series of overcoming obstacles that are difficult to beat.