Black Aggressions and Resistance in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave by Frederick Douglass

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Abstract - This article is interested in black aggressions and resistance in Frederick
Douglass’s Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass: an American slave. Going from
physical, moral and intellectual aggressions undergone by Negroes on the masters’
plantations, it shows how Douglass performs an intellectual resistance against
Whites’ oppression, and how he contributes to the rehabilitation of black culture in
America. In fact, education is Douglass’s most important weapon to liberate himself
as well as his black community from white domination and supremacy. He settles
himself in learning how to read and write, first from his mistress Mrs. Auld, then
from all little white boys he meets in the streets. In his ambition of learning, he faces
a lot of obstacles. Mr. Auld, for example, like many other slaveholders in the South,
is deeply convinced that Negroes should not be taught how to read and write. He
believes that reading and writing could only cause them harm because they will no
longer feel at ease in their status of slave. He therefore dissuades his wife, Mrs. Auld
to teach Douglass. But the latter does not feel discouraged. Instead, he is so
optimistic about the importance of education that he has committed himself in
teaching his fellow-slaves how to read and write. In doing so, he rehabilitates black
culture through his writing which perpetuates African American history that is part
and parcel of American historical agenda.
Keywords : Domination, education, liberation, oppression, rehabilitation,


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