The Writing of
Michelle Duster
Excerpt - Tate
     “That’s right, Tate,” chimed in a booming voice from

a man who entered the room. The tall man had

shocking white hair. “This woman, Phillis Wheatley, is

one of the best poets ever. And she learned how to

read and write despite the obstacles. Those of us who

were slaves didn’t have the opportunity to go to

school. You’re very lucky to be able to do that. I had to

sneak and learn on my own and pretend to not know

     Tate looked at the man and couldn’t believe what

he was hearing. It was a ridiculous idea that people

didn’t have the chance to go to school. Everyone did

that. In fact, he knew people who refused to go to

school and people had to force them to do it.

      “Are you Frederick Douglass?” asked Tate,

looking at this distinguished man who was dressed so

formally in a three-piece suit.

      “Yes, that’s my name. How do you know who I


     “You’re in my history book. Were you born a slave,

      “I was born a slave around 1818 and died in 1895,

but I spent a lot of my life fighting to end slavery and

making sure that people after me had the opportunity

to become educated,” said Frederick Douglass.

     “Well. I know slavery was hard, but now we can be

anything we want to be,” said Tate.
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