An overview of the struggle for freedom and the narrative life of frederick douglass
Life and times of frederick douglass
The Narrative in was the first of these; we may note its distribution, reserving for a moment comment on its general nature and its influence. Naturally the Narrative was a bitter indictment of slavery. Despite having seen and personally endured staggering brutality at the hands of white slave owners, Douglass never, NEVER comes across as bitter or hate-filled towards all white people. In this work of pages, well over three times the length of the Narrative, Douglass expands on his life as a freeman, and includes a fifty-eight page appendix comprising extracts from his speeches. It was destined to overshadow all other contemporary crusades, halting their progress almost completely for four years while the American people engaged in a civil war caused in large part by sectional animosities involving slavery. He had no choice but to assume such responsibilities as commending Clara Barton for opening an establishment in Washington to give employment to Negro women, explaining the causes for the mounting number of lynchings, and urging Negroes not to take too literally the Biblical injunction to refrain from laying up treasures on earth. For all Slaves, this was the normality which was callously endured. Douglass had not always caught the name clearly: the man he called William Hamilton was undoubtedly William Hambleton; the Garrison West of the Narrative was Garretson West, and the clergyman Douglass called Mr. It was published seven years after Douglass escaped from his life as a slave in Maryland. The final autobiagraphy, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, was published in Furthermore, he says that America does not know how the people of her country are devoted to her and will give up their own lives if they had to fight a foe for her.
The dignity of the man is humbling to behold. Not only was Douglass a part of the plantation system, city life, and brutal whipping but he was put into history as a great role model defining the true meaning of life.
But America had no more vigilant critic, and none more loving.
Likewise, Wendell Phillips pledges "the most entire confidence in [Douglass'] truth, candor, and sincerity" p. There for two years he denounced American slavery before large and sympathetic audiences. This becomes important because as Douglass points out the slaveholders believe a literate slave is not a good slave.
Covey seems to steel Douglass' desire for freedom, as his description of their fistfight reveals: "You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man" p.
This was all he needed; henceforth his own considerable abilities and the temper of the times would fully suffice to keep him in the limelight.
But it never came.
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