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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

by Frederick Douglass
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What does Frederick Douglass mean when he says "Bread of Knowledge"?

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It seems likely that those few proponents in the pro-slavery ranks who might actually have read the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave, would have cursed the nameless street-children who helped Frederick Douglass to acquire the ability to read. This basic skill became a crucial asset in the creation of an orator whose renowned eloquence would make him one of the most powerful forces of the abolition movement.

Douglass describes the haphazard process of his education in chapter 7 of his autobiography. Sophie Auld, the wife of his master, worked against his efforts at self-education after initially being sympathetic. She had fallen under the influence of her husband's (correct) belief that literacy would make any slave dangerously aware of the fundamental injustice of their plight.

Thus thwarted, Douglass decides to seek his education in the streets, where even the most impoverished white boys had a skill he lacked: literacy.

The plan which I adopted,and the one by...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 697 words.)

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