History African Diaspora (Subject)- Fredrick Douglass Ambassor Hatti. (Objectives )-Two primary sources Two secondary sources, Outline, Structure, Thesis, Arugument, Motives, Primaries a Tittle.
Frederick Douglass and the African Diaspora
Africa is presently perceived as a land of origin by millions of people from around the world, as numerous Africans have either willingly or unwillingly left their homes throughout time. Although the term African Diaspora generally refers to a series of Africans who left their home continent from antiquity and until the present day, it is widely used to relate to Africans who descend from individuals who were forcefully brought to the American continent during the Atlantic slave trade. In spite of the fact that they were persecuted and forced to work as slaves in the Americas, some Africans actually rose against their oppressors and are presently remembered as some of the most reputable individuals in all of history.
Africans have dispersed around the world as a result of their Diaspora and most of the people who left their continent and their descendents look back at Africa with the utmost respect, as they feel that they will always be connected to it. People in the African Diaspora are not only united through their connection with the African continent, as they are also united by the fact that their ancestors and many of them have been actively involved in fighting for freedom. African-American individuals do not actually need to travel to the African continent in order to return to their traditional home. Instead, they can appeal to intellectual factors like music, religion, and art with the purpose of feeling that they develop a strong bond with Africa. In order for the struggle for freedom to stop Africans need to focus on fighting unjust systems. This is basically what many individuals in the African Diaspora do, considering that they often come across cases of racism and get engaged in criticizing this act.
Most people are likely to be acquainted with Frederick Douglas — one of the most prominent individuals involved in the abolitionist movement. Douglas did not only express interest in freeing people from slavery, as he was also opposed to any kind of discrimination encountered in society. His determination resulted from centuries of slavery that his ancestors were subjected to and he was focused on making the world a better place through emphasizing the importance of equality. Douglass came to govern his life in accordance with the belief that a person is capable of anything as long as he or she is instructed in regard to the importance of freedom.
The moment when he was asked to be an American ambassador in Haiti was essential for Douglass’ understanding of the world and of the concept of freedom. He realized that the U.S. government had acknowledged the important role he played in bringing freedom to African-Americans and that it was interested in providing him with the opportunity to assist Haitians in their struggle to reform policies in their country. In spite of the fact that Douglass was recognized for having contributed to ending slavery, numerous Americans were unwilling to have him sent to Haiti as their ambassador. This is very probably due to the fact that Americans were not ready to have an African-American represent them at the time. Even with this, he proved them wrong through achieving positive results in his mission and managed to demonstrate that skin color is not an important factor when considering a person’s ability to put across intellectual thinking. White people were not the only ones who considered that Douglass was not right for representing them in Haiti. A series of African-Americans considered that he was not black enough and that it was wrong for him to represent them in a country where the majority of people were African-Americans (McFeely 341).
Frederick Douglass’ participation in representing the U.S. marked an important moment in African — American relations. The man did not only represent the U.S. In this mission, as he also represented a new concept — one that related to the African Diaspora and to the belief that things had significantly changed when considering the general public’s understanding of African-Americans. Douglass did not necessarily consider that a person needed to be extremely intelligent to represent a group of people, as he believed that one simply needed to be “qualified, both in object and purpose” to address individuals (Douglass 1893).
One of the important aspects about Douglass’ interest in being an American ambassador in Haiti was the fact that he believed the country to be “the Black Republic; the only self-made Black Republic in the world” (Douglass 1893). Douglass considered Haiti to be even more than that, as he considered that the country put across a strong statement that related to how Africans were no longer willing to be persecuted and to how they were prepared to claim their own land in the Western Hemisphere. Haitians were not only distinguished because they escaped slavery, as they were also important because they were willing to put across the authority that they held over the land.
Douglass focused on the diplomatic aspects of his mission in Haiti and tried to instruct the Haitian President at the time, Florvil Hyppolite, in regard to the actions that he needed to take in order for conditions to improve in the country. It is very likely that Douglass felt a strong connection with Haiti and its people and that he wanted people to actually feel that they were free. Douglass was obviously frustrated with the fact that complete freedom was not actually accessible to freed slaves across the U.S. And wanted Haiti to stand as an example regarding an African nation that was capable to function accurately with no assistance from other forces. As a consequence, he did everything in his power with the purpose of helping Hyppolite provide his people with resources and education. He was well aware that the U.S. was not enthusiastic about improving conditions in Haiti and considered that it was essential for him to get actively involved in helping the people with who he was connected by their African background.
To a certain degree, one can consider Douglass to embody the concept of the typical African individual combined with the ‘westernized’ African person. He practically stands as an intellectual representative for African-American individuals in the U.S. during the late nineteenth century. In spite of the fact that he was educated in the U.S., Douglass seemed dedicated to promote African concepts with every chance that he got. “Haiti, where Douglass achieved his highest national office, symbolized black achievement in the New World” (Sweeney 9). However, while Douglass was happy with the fact that Haiti was a free country, many individuals in the U.S. believed that this would mean that the U.S. would be unable to have control over it, thus meaning that it would be pointless for their country to invest important resources in a state that was not very clear concerning the attitude that it would employ in a potential relationship with the U.S.
Douglass was familiar with the fact that the U.S. wanted to exploit Haiti and was determined to destroy any plan that his country would have in regard to taking advantage of the critical position that Haitians found themselves in during the late nineteenth century. It was not long before Douglass discovered that morality was not one of the main assets of the American government. As a result, he tried to improve relations between Haiti and the U.S. without providing the latter with too much control over the former. Even with this, the fact that the U.S. was not necessarily interested in Haiti made it difficult for Douglass to assist Haitians. This provided Douglass with the cruel truth — the world was far from considering that everyone is equal and Africans continued to be oppressed in spite of the fact that slavery had ended. The general public in the U.S. simply saw Haiti as a territory that could be exploited, as its location made it a strategic point. Africans in the Diaspora find it difficult to relate to their background and to the importance of their lineage in a world that is more interested in assimilating individuals than in accepting them as being different.
Gomez, William Angelo, Reversing Sail: A History Of The African Diaspora, (Cambridge University Press, 2005)
McFeely, William S. Frederick Douglass (New York W.W. Norton, 1991)
“Lecture on Haiti,” Retrieved March 3, 2012, from the Webster University Website: http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/history/1844-1915/douglass.htm
The Liberator, 27 March 1846; Reprinted in Philip Foner, ed., Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, vol. 1 (New York: International Publishers, 1950), p. 138.
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