People conceived in rape are busting myths of being monsters. Frederick Douglass, conceived in rape by a slave master, is busting myths on many levels. The world portrays children conceived in rape as monsters who will become like their “fathers.” Society insists abortion be a ready remedy for the crime of the rapist. I’ve had the privilege of speaking with hundreds of mothers of children conceived in rape. Conceived in rape people being monsters is as much of a myth as fairies being found in gardens!
The people I have met and talked to personally are amazing. The conceived in rape are not just “good people.” They are excelling in academics as well as making major contributions to society. The truth is far from what society believes and has portrayed.
Conceived in rape Frederick Douglass
While I obviously haven’t personally met him, I’d like to showcase Frederick Douglass. Born sometime in 1818, Douglas chose February 14 as his birth day (also my birth date) He really didn’t know the exact day. His life is truly an awe inspiring victory for even the most privileged. In a biography it is stated, “He became one of the most famous intellectuals of his time, advising presidents and lecturing to thousands on a range of causes, including women’s rights and Irish home rule.”
Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Talbot County, Maryland
Here was a man that had everything against him, conceived in rape, born into slavery, his mother died when he was 10, and almost beaten to death as a teen. He had it worse than even the other slaves saying,
“…for cunning arrangement, the slaveholder, in cases not a few, sustains to his slaved the double relation of master and father. I know of such cases; and it is worthy of remark, that such slaves invariably suffer greater hardships, and have more to contend with than others. They are, in the first place, a constant offense to their mistress. She is ever disposed to find fault with them. …”
Douglass recalls a story
Douglass’s best-known work is his first autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.
In it Douglass recalls a story (page 23) of a slave meeting his master.
“It is reported of him. That while riding along the road one day, he met a colored man, and addressed him in the usual manner of speaking to colored people on the public highways of the south: “Well, boy, whom do you belong to?” “To Colonel Lloyd,” replied the slave. “Well, does the colonel treat you well?” “No, sir,” was the ready reply. “What, does he work you too hard?” “Yes, sir.” “Well, don’t he give you enough to eat?” “Yes, sir, he gives me enough, such as it is.”
The colonel, after ascertaining where the slave belonged to, rode on; the man also went on about his business, not dreaming that he had been conversing with his master. He thought, said and heard nothing more of the matter, until two or three weeks afterwards. The poor man was then informed by his overseer that, for having found fault with his master, he was now to be sold to a Georgia trader. He was immediately chained and handcuffed; and thus, without a moment’s warning. He was snatched away, and forever sundered from his family and friends, by a hand more unrelenting than death.”
The next statement Douglass makes is profound.
“This is the penalty of telling the truth, of telling the simple truth…”
Frederick Douglass: More than a survivor
Sadly, I’ve been attacked for sharing truth, saying raped conceived children are not reason for execution.
However many attacks he endured, Douglas didn’t just survive. He overcame and had supernatural victories. He learned the alphabet from a white slave owner’s wife. Her husband convinced her that slavery and literacy were “incompatible.” So she stopped teaching Douglass. He wrote that she even snatched a newspaper from him one day. In his autobiography Douglass learned to read from white children and men he worked with. ( Douglass, Frederick (1851). Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Written by himself (6 ed.). London: H.G. Collins. pp. 43–44.)
He made a huge effort to learn. It paid off.
Many slaves did not fight back. Frederick Douglass could have assumed his “position” as nothing more than an unwanted child conceived in rape doomed to slavery. But this man knew his reason for being born. NOT a mistake, Douglass pushed through every obstacle to become one of the most prominent African American leaders of the Nineteenth Century. I dare say there was prejudice against the color of his skin.But his talents and wisdom “made room for him and brought him before great men.”
Life Changing Realization
In his autobiography so eloquently written Douglass says on page 63:
“I was not more than thirteen years old, when in my loneliness and destitution I longed for some one to whom I could go, as to a father and protector. The preaching of a white Methodist minister, named Hanson, was the means of causing me to feel that in God I had such a friend. He thought that all men, great and small, bond and free, were sinners in the sight of God: that they were by nature rebels against His government; and that they must repent of their sins, and be reconciled to God through Christ. I cannot say that I had a very distinct notion of what was required of me, but one thing I did know well: I was wretched and had no means of making myself otherwise.
I consulted a good old colored man named Charles Lawson, and in tones of holy affection he told me to pray, and to “cast all my care upon God.” This I sought to do; and though for weeks I was a poor, broken-hearted mourner, traveling through doubts and fears, I finally found my burden lightened, and my heart relieved. I loved all mankind, slaveholders not excepted, though I abhorred slavery more than ever. I saw the world in a new light, and my great concern was to have everybody converted. My desire to learn increased, and especially, did I want a thorough acquaintance with the contents of the Bible.”
Being conceived in rape does not dictate our future though society tries to say it does. Society’s view of us does not have to affect our character. When believing society’s prejudice, truth becomes hidden. Our perception becomes perverted. Douglass forged forward despite the immense public hatred for his conception and his color; He turned to his Creator for his purpose.
I see many people conceived in rape realizing who they really are. We are created in the image of the one who created the Universe. That changes everything.
But in the end Frederick Douglass wasn’t so much remembered for his being conceived in rape but by his wonderful contributions to the world. My hope is that others conceived in rape will not be judged based on who our biological fathers are, but who we as individuals become!