That night, when it got cooler, Frederick was able to muster the strength to stand up and walk. He walked into the woods, where he met a slave named Sandy Jenkins. Sandy had a free wife who owned a house, so he invited Frederick home with him. Sandy told him that he had to return to Covey’s, but gave him a gift before he left.
Sandy pulled something out of his pocket and handed it to Frederick. It was small, about two inches long, and felt like wood. “It’s a root”, Sandy replied to Douglass’s confused look. He pondered, a root? What can a root do? Sandy smiled and began to tell a tale of the sacred magic within the root. “This root contains healing powers from a practice called Hoodoo, a type of folk magic.”
“Could I finally be free?” Douglass asked. Sandy replied, “The magic of the root was created to improve life, so, you very well could be freed.” Douglass grabbed the root up from where he had set it down on the table, and asked eagerly, “How does it work?” Sandy smiled and told him, “Well Frederick, in order for it to work, you have to believe; believe in the magic of our ancestors and of Africa, then, and only then, will the magic within emerge.” He took the root, and later that night, returned to Covey’s, where the root failed him. However, as he grew older, and began to believe, he eventually left the life of slavery, and even wrote a book! Throughout his life, he learned a valuable lesson; In order to succeed , you first have to believe.