One of the most covered events in American history revolves around the slavery period and the fight for freedom. It was a time characterized by cruel leadership with total disregard to human rights. Race and color were significant identity elements which defined every American. This period clearly shows how America was in crisis and strategic steps taken towards salvaging its image and the lives of many who were deprived off almost every right. The issue continually contradicted democratic principles upon which the founding fathers of America double emphasized. As a result, disunity among leaders, Africans and Whites continued to boil leading to disagreement among some states as the journey towards freedom gained momentum. At the center of slavery were mainly Africans who were bought and sold like goods and misused as workers in America. Slave labor was therefore considered as the best source of man power especially in carrying out odd and heavy duties most of which were meant for machines.Due to high labor demands and industrialization dreams among many American leaders, Slavery momentarily grew to its peak and by 1750, over two hundred thousand slaves were in America. This number tippled fifty years later. It is worth noting that the number of slaves outnumbered white people in some states like North Carolina while others like Maryland had half of their population made up slaves. The freedom journey saw the rise of many people whose names have remained significant in not only history but in many disciplines. This analysis focuses on principles, ideologies and views of people towards slavery and the journey to freedom. Among other things, the paper lays emphasis on Frederick Douglass-Fourth of July Speech, Booker T. Washington's exposition and address on The struggle for an Education and Dubois view over the triple paradox of Washington argument. Among many influential speeches in the history of the United States is Frederick Douglass's which he gave on July 4, 1852 in New York. Frederick Douglass was a civil rights advocate and abolitionist who believed that slavery did not reflect the image which American Founding Fathers had. Many Americans celebrated the Independence Day in the nineteenth century by ceremoniously pronouncing the Declaration of Independence which was usually followed by a speech dedicated to American independence and heritage. It was this that gave Frederick Douglass a chance to address a crowd in Rochester's Corinthian Hall after being invited by a movement called Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society. According to Douglass, the benefits and fruits of Independence which were to be equally shared and enjoyed among all Americans was not the portion of black people.
Douglass noted that many people continued to be in chains even after independence, contrary to the driving agenda of America's ancestors. As a result, many were weeping even on the Independence Day anniversary which was to be a time to rejoice and celebrate. As further described by Douglass, pre-independence life was characterized by heavy and grievous moments which doubled immediately after independence with the spirit of equality being permanently buried with painful cries of helpless children filling post -independence American history (Douglass 572). From a religious perspective, he observed that although men had a common ancestry and a father, God Almighty, debris of brotherhood could not be traced in America even during Independence anniversary celebrations (Douglass 572). American Slavery was the subject of Douglass as he identified himself with Africans who lived in oppression and under inhumane leadership. Moreover, both the American constitution and the Bible had been trampled upon after independence and that black people were considered less human. As noted by Douglass, there were over seventy crimes which if committed by a black person in Virginia, execution was automatic. However, only two of these would lead to death sentence of a white person. It is notable from Douglass' July speech that American slaves were voiceless amidst all forms of injustices (Douglass 96). Although Independence Day was a source of happiness to white people it was a day that revealed and reminded American slaves the gross injustices they had faced, going through and preparing to witness in a future full light dreadful light.On the other hand, Booker Taliaferro Washington dominated the United States slavery history especially from 1840 to 1915. He was an educationist and a black leader who maintained his ground in advocating for the black people who were being enslaved several years after independence. He was born to a white father and a slave mother and grew up witnessing slavery in America. His Atlanta address in 1895 was viewed by many as a turning point by both white people and African-Americans. He was supported by many people including W. E. B. Du Bois although the two differed two years later. Du Bois later referred to Washington's address as "The Atlanta Compromise" arguing that Washington accommodated the interests of white people. Booker advocated for the acceptance and compromise of political power and higher education which was already in the system for young people. He highly valued industrial education and argued that African-American needed skills in order to secure jobs (Washington 20).
According to his address, Booker Washington believed that industrial education skills were the only requirement for African-Americans to rise to power and create a stable foundation for their growth. He believed that this would prove that African-Americans were responsible in the American society. Booker further stated that African-Americans needed an initial stage that would lead them to equal rights other than fighting equality as it was defined by law (Washington 107). This foundation was to be used in future by American-Africans as back up in pushing for equality. According to Booker, it was to prove to white people that Africans were not naturally unskilled and foolish. This was contrary to the imagination of many blacks who waited anxiously for the birth of equality in America as it was defined in the constitution. Contrary to Washington, Du Bois argued for similar fine arts education that was offered to white people together with civic equality and voting rights which remained to be a mirage in the lives of African-Americans. Du Bois believed that such a stance would enable Africans and the whole American society to rise beyond race and forge towards nation building and development. This difference between Washington and Du Bois was mainly based on the manner in which many Africa-Americans were considered in the South and in the South. Many Northerners believed that they lacked leadership since a white southerner was imposed to them as their leader. It is important to note that the two worked out for the best possible means of improving the lives of many African-Americans through education though from varying perspectives. In Souls of Black Folk
, Du Bois notes that race was the main problem in America at the start of the twentieth century. He argues that there was lack of equality in America because everybody was defined by race. He wondered why Blacks were being treated and considered as strangers in America several years after independence (Du Bois 2).The core conflict emanating from the three personalities, Frederick Douglass, Booker Washington and Du Bois revolved around the path towards freedom and end slavery in post-independent America. Although, education was important to both White and Black people equality with regard to civic rights and voting rights was more superior and a core foundation in creating a cohesive nation. As viewed by Frederick Douglass and Du Bois, equality among men was not just contained in the American constitution that was to protect everyone regardless of their color but a command from God. Although whites considered black people to be less important, they equally deserved humane leadership and equal rights. This would however not be realized without ending slavery.It is clear that American history revives enormous memories especially when the issue of slavery is discussed. The current generation is able to understand the fact that the freedom being enjoyed today was never realized in a single day but rather via a series of events most of which were fatal. Through slavery analysis we understand the disregard to humanity which controlled perpetrators of inhumanity without fear of life given by the creator. These memories of Emancipation of the Africans are very important in understanding ourselves as a people with equal rights regardless of our ethnic backgrounds. This information is a basic foundation for leaders in attempts to unite people through respect of constitutions and spiritual teachings which strengthen societal bonding.