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Even though Douglass had troubling times he pushed through the regrets, self consciousness, and doubts to educate himself, “I often found myself regretting my own existence, and wishing myself dead; and but for the hope of being free…” (Douglass 103).Through learning, Douglass was enlightened by a subject that eventually brought success to his life and would change the world, “From this time I understood the words abolition and abolitionist, and always drew near when that word was spoken, expecting to hear something of importance to myself and fellow-slaves” (Douglass 104).
Douglass ambition to learn reading and writing is what helped him reach his goals.
His mistress started out helping him with some instruction until her heart became “stone” and “ceas[ed] in instruction.” (Douglass 101).
She soon realized that “education and slavery were incompatible with each other” (Douglass 101).
Little did the mistress know that it was a too late, Douglass states “ The first step had been taken.” He remembered her teachings of the alphabet and gave him the “inch, and no precaution could prevent …from taking the ell” (Douglass 101).
With those obstacle, he wanted to be able to speak properly and to share his thoughts in a proper letter to the great Mr.
Elijah Muhammad, “How could I sound writing in slang,…say[ing] it, something such as, ‘Look, daddy, let me pull your coat about a cat, Elijah Muhammad-’ ” (Malcolm X 1).Malcolm X was a criminal with some educational background.He had a desire to express his thoughts and knowledge, but was held back by his eighth grade education and imprisonment at that moment.Being a slave caused him to be secretive and deceptive in his learning practices.The potential consequences of being caught with learning materials were life altering.“Learning to Read and Write” by Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X’s “Learning to Read” talks about both authors self-teaching themselves to read and write.Any deficiency in education makes it difficult to achieve any great task in life regardless of your race.Each of them had a different method and view of struggling against the social injustices against the blacks.Martin Luther King was a Christian, while Malcolm X was a Muslim, that is why their views were based on their religious backgrounds, and the way they had been brought up by their parents.“Book after book” showed him the “white man had brought upon the world’s black, brown, red, and yellow peoples every variety of the suffering of exploitation” (Malcolm X 4).Like Douglass, Malcolm found the “Faustian machinations” of the “white man” against the “non-white victims” (Malcolm X).