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Jessica Dunn
Mrs. Hockmeyer
English 3
20 October 2014
Slavery as a Violation
Many people view slavery as a violation to all mankind. Slavery prevents slaves from experiencing equality and fundamental freedoms. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” protect people rights from being misused. As stated in the Declaration of Human Rights, all people should have “dignity and justice for all” (United Nations). In the slave narratives of Frederick Douglass,
Francis Bok, Mrs. John Little and William Moore, it is evident that justice for them was never recognized. As for many others, slavery violated human rights by slaves not being able to have an education, their own personal thoughts and religious beliefs; but most of all, they were subjected to torture and degrading treatment.
According to the United Nations the twenty sixth amendment states, everyone, no matter what race, religion, or age is able to have an education. For slaves, this is not the case. Slaves were never allowed to have a proper education of any kind. If a slave owner found their slaves secretly teaching themselves how to read or had others teach them, then their master would immediately show anger and get rid of the knowledgeable learnings. For example, in the Frederick Douglass article,
“from My Bondage and My Freedom”, it quotes, “Nothing appeared to make my poor mistress...more angry, than seeing me, seated in some nook or corner, quietly reading a book or a newspaper. I have had her rush at me, with the utmost fury, and snatch from my hand such newspaper or book…”
(523). Fredrick was just a little boy that wanted to learn. He saw many white boys learning how to

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read and write, so he thought it was a good idea for himself to learn how. He never thought he would be punished for learning, but obviously his master knew Douglass would become knowledgeable if he continued on his readings. Douglass would have a major impact on the world. Douglass would carry on his readings to become an educated black slave. Frederick Douglass showed others that everyone can have an education, even without going to a school. Douglass’s message was education leads to power and success, and the only way for a slave to overpower the future was to become educated; but as for Francis Bok he was never exposed to an education. An example was when Bok quoted, “ I did not go to school. No one in my family had any formal education” (2). This showed Bok as an uneducated person. Though Bok wasn’t educated at the time he would soon be kidnapped by a murahiliin man named Giemma and would need to learn different languages and education secretly to escape from slavery.
Believe it or not but slaves weren’t allowed to think for themselves, have an opinion, or have a religious view. A slave was only there to work for their master and that was it. If a slave voiced their opinion, consequences for that slave would immediately be taken into action. As for slave owners, a slave was not a person, but a creature. For instance in the book, Escape from Slavery, Bok had the courage to ask Giemma why he had to sleep with animals, Giemma told Bok out of fury, “because you
ARE an animal” (46). Bok was viewed as an animal in his master Giemma’s eyes because he was only there to follow Giemma’s orders, just like an animal is trained to do. If a slave wanted to have a religious view it had to be the same religious view of their master. If not, a slave was not to practice their own religion. In Bok’s situation he had to practice Islam as a religion when living with Giemma’s family, when really he was a Christian. Giemma mentioned to Bok, “you must become Muslim...to live in this family” (54-55). Bok knew if he didn’t practice the religion with Giemma’s family, then Giemma would either kill him or torture him until he did practice. Francis Bok agreed to practice with
Giemma’s family, but he knew his true devotion was Christianity. On the other hand, William Moore…