Inspiration is what is needed while we try to do something bigger. Reading may come easy for us now-But this is a lot of work for the child. So to inspire your child, listen to the story of a young slave boy by the name of Frederick Douglass. An inspiring story in learning to read and write where a boy used creative problem-solving to learn to read and escape from slavery.
There are a lot of us who are paralyzed by problems. We feel powerless to solve them and are held hostage to self-defeating attitudes and beliefs. This limits the opportunities that lie ahead for us. This story could teach us something to open up a whole new world of opportunity for us.
Frederic was born a slave in the early 1800s. He never met his dad and was raised by his grandmother until he was six or seven. His mother was on another plantation. She used to walk all night, for seeing him for a few minutes and get back in time for her work the next day. So he only actually saw her a few times in his life like other slave children on that plantation. He was only clothed in a linen shirt and was fed cornmeal mush out of a trough much as pigs. As a result, he was often hungry.
At about the age of 8, he went to stay with Mr and Mrs. auld in Baltimore as their servant. Conditions were much better there. He had clothing and plenty to eat, but he was still a slave. The Aulds had a boy about his age. Shortly after arriving in their home, Mrs. auld began teaching Frederick the ABCs, alongside her son. One day Mr. Auld saw what she was doing, told her that teaching ABCs would forever make Frederick unfit to be a slave.
All at once, as Frederick describes, a great mystery was revealed to him. He understood the secret of white over black and became more determined to learn to read and write. Mrs. Auld no longer helped him in this reading. She blocked his access to any form of reading or writing material. However, now Frederick was eager, found a small reading book to take his journey forward.
How Fredrick learned to read and write
He had the responsibility to run everyday jobs for the family. This enabled him access to plenty of bread at his master's home. Several little white boys in the neighbourhood knew how to read but were less fortunate in having proper food. He made a plan wherein he finished his work early and began offering them bread to them in return for teaching him reading. In this manner, he started to move ahead in learning to read.
At about 12, he lived in a shipyard that would prepare wood pieces for ships. The workers would mark in chalk the letters -L for larboard S for starboard A for aft and F for forwarding. If the piece was marked SF, it meant starboard forward and so forth. Frederic thus learned these four letters.
He would find a white boy and say to him. I know more letters than you do. The boy would disagree to argue a bit and would ask him to demonstrate. Frederick would take a stick and draw the letters he had learned. Then the other boy will write some other letters, which Frederic would note down. He would go and repeat the process with another boy and started studying the letters one by one
To learn to write he had another plan. When the young white boy he used to stay finished his copy books and threw them away, Frederic would get them and write over the letters. Doing this over two years he finally succeeded in learning to write.
This remains one of the finest examples of creative problem-solving where a slave boy without a book, pencil, or even a piece of paper of his own learned to read and write. A hunger to learn, inspired by understanding slavery and a vision of hope. He mustered the initiative, commitment, persistence, patience necessary to learn how to read and write, and over several years he was able to succeed.
Frederick Douglass went on to become an influential figure in the history of Civil Rights in America. He started an abolitionist newspaper, attended women's rights conventions, and called for desegregation of schools. He also helped to escape slaves to freedom on the Underground railroad. By the time the Civil War began. Frederick Douglass was one of the most famous black men in America. He even served as an advisor to President Abraham Lincoln and appealed for equal treatment of black soldiers in the Union army at the end of the Civil War. He also played a role in the ratification of the 13th amendment to the Constitution, which totally outlawed slavery in the United States
He was honored with statues and his name found on bridges and schools across the country. Fredrick's face also can be seen on stamps and coins. He fought all his life for equality for everyone. He always believed what he said in the motto of his newspaper. `` Right is of no Sex. Truth is of no Color, God is the Father of us all and we are all brethren .''.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Frederick Douglass. Recite this story to your child as a bedtime story. I'm sure it will inspire him in his reading journey