New students of Douglass will find convenient access to many ofDouglass’s important articles, letters, and speeches in theshorter collection, Philip Sheldon Foner and Yuval Taylor,Frederick Douglass: Selected Speeches and Writings (1999,hereafter FDSW). Likewise, Brotz’s survey of late19th-century and early 20th-century AfricanAmerican social political thought remains a handy source of some ofDouglass most important speeches (Brotz 1992).
This entry cites the Library of America’s collection of allthree of Douglass’s autobiographies (1994, hereafter FDAB). Fora stand-alone edition of the Narrative, see the editionedited by David Blight (2003). See also Angela Y. Davis' edition,Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave,written by himself : a new critical edition (2010, hereafterFDN-Davis). The Angela Davis edition will appeal to studentsinterested in her legacy, the history of 1960s black nationalism,critical theory, and critical race theory.
11 -- Introduction, Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789)
18 -- Jarena Lee, Life and Religious Experience (1836) and Zilpha Elaw, Memoirs (1846)
25 -- Frederick Douglass, Narrative (1845)
01 -- Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom (1855)
08 -- Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)
15 -- Booker T.
For more on the idea of the racial contract, see Mills 1997. Seealso, David E. Schrader, “Natural Law in the ConstitutionalThought of Frederick Douglass” (1999). For a contrasting view onDouglass’s position, see Ronald R. Sundstrom, The Browningof America and the Evasion of Social Justice (2008:11–35).
a sketchy account of parentage, often involving a white father
description of a cruel master, mistress, or overseer, details of whippings, with women very frequently the victims
an account of one extraordinarily strong, hardworking slave-who, because there is no reason for it, refuses to be whipped
record of the barriers raised against slave literacy and the overwhelming difficulties encountered in learning to read and write
account of a slave auction, of families being separated and destroyed,
descriptions of patrols, of failed attempt(s) to escape, of pursuit by men and dogs
description of successful attempt(s) to escape,
taking of a new last name (frequently one suggested by a white abolitionist) to accord with new social identity as a free man, but retention of first name as a mark of continuity of individual identity.
reflections on slavery.
At time of the Civil War, recognized as most significant African American leader
Wrote internationally best-selling books
Born "Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey" February of 1818, Maryland backcountry
Sent to Baltimore in 1826 to be a servant
Returned and sent to hard field labor
Escaped to freedom in 1838
Set the standard for slave narratives in the 19th century, and idea of "model of selfhood"
Literature of Slavery and Freedom
"The slave narrative took on its classic form and tone between 1840 and 1860, when the romantic movement in American literature was in its most influential phase.