Even though Frederick Douglass, John Ross, and Frankie Mae had different stories, they were all oppressed because they were part of the minorities. In those times, they did not have access to the same media as we do today such as computers, cell phones etc. Their form of media was the power of being educated. Frederick Douglass who was a former slave was at the beginning taught to read by his mistress but then was stopped by the master. This did not discourage Douglass to discontinue reading. He came to the realization that education was the pathway from slavery to freedom and continued learning secrecy with the help of his young white playmates. Douglass’s master believed that “education and slavery were incompatible with each other” and if he had access to this form of media (education) he would run away. Depriving Douglass of education forced Douglass to remain part of the minority and stay as a slave.
Similarly with John Ross, the workers we oppressed as well. Those who rolled expensive cigars with their hands held a strike not because they were paid poorly for their tedious job but because they were not allowed to be read works of famous writers. The workers fought for their rights to be somewhat educated through listening to famous , inspiring and educated writers. By depriving the workers of this, it reinforces the fact that they are minorities and do not deserve the same privileges such as education that higher class-men do
Unlike Douglass and Ross, Frankie Mae did not fight for what she wanted. Though Mae’s dream was to learn, she was discouraged by her father who made her work on the plantation and as well as from the realization that even if she were educated, she was powerless because she was black. She gave up on her dream and died at a young age. These sort of oppression still exist in today’s society with the Digital Divide. There is inequalities between groups of people who have or do not have access or knowledge to certain privileges such as the internet (media). For example, there are different economic classes that exist today which deprives them from “growing” at the same speed as those with higher economic status. As a society as a whole, we should fight this “oppression” just like Douglass and Ross tried to fight for their dream.
– Della Mizrahi