Fredrick Douglass is no doubt the most important African American leader in the 19th century. He rose from extreme poverty and slavery to become one of the country’s most respected intellectuals and human right’s activists. During this time as an enslaved worker, Fredrick Douglass began to learn to read and write from any source possible. His first teacher was his mistress, but later begins to continue his education by trading “breads.” I found this part of Douglass’ biography interesting as he exchanged food for an education. “The bread I used to bestow upon the hungry little urchins, who, in return, would give me that more valuable bread of knowledge. Douglass later admitted that he would restrain from naming these young and poor children because they would be embarrassed by others for teaching an African American. Even though he was considered “better well off” in the standards of living due to his availability of food, he was able to exploit the poverty of Caucasian children who were educated. As a slave, food was less important to him than education, because an education was his way to freedom.

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