Saturday 20 October 2018
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ZongoNews Radio

ZONGONEWS EDITORIAL: International Migrant Destinations ( Part 40 )

Recently I was inspired by a man who lived 125 years ago who decided to escape subjugation and with his freedom fought tirelessly for the freedom of others and women’s rights. He later became known as one of the greatest orators of all times.Born into slavery in 1818 in the United States, Frederick Douglas had a traumatic childhood. Separated from his mother as an infant, only being comforted by her under the cover of nightand being brought up by his grandmother until the age of six, he knew orphan-hood. After several moves to various plantations, a slave owner’s wife began to teach him the alphabet at the age of 12 years until it was disallowed. He continued to learn from other children, by teaching himself and observing the writings of others.After a number of attempts, he escaped captivity and journeyed to where he could live as a free man under a false name. Success from writing and publishing books forced him to eventually travel to Europe to protect his anonymity. In later life he published several autobiographies which were thought to have contributed to the money necessary to buy his freedom. He said that he had experienced being treated “not as a colour, but as a man”.We know that many peoples of the world are subject to physical and or mental slavery and sadly this story is by no means uncommon, even today. Nelson Mandela famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, that sentiment is worth thinking and doing something about.If you have missed school in your formative years due to forced moving or for any other reason, then I hope that this article inspires you to learn more. If you are the carer for your young or others, the alphabet is a good place to start to waken the appetite for learning and create the thirst for knowledge and understanding.Who ever said that it was too late to learn? Who ever said that it was too late to make a difference? Who ever said that your history could keep your mind in chains?I hope that by reading this heart rendering yet inspiring account of a man who was born into slavery provokes you into action. And in answer to those questions, it’s never too late to learn, never too late to make a difference for yourself and others and, history does not have the power to keep your mind in chains…. It’s not strong enough.

Lesley Shepperson
Shepperson & Shepperson Consultants Ltd

Source: Lesley Shepperson / /