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Frederick Douglass

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Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of an American Slave, Written by himself. New York: Blight, 2003.

Frederick Douglass was known as the most important African American leader and intellectual in the 19th century. He became a major figure in the crusade for abolition, the drama of emancipation and the effort to give meaning to black freedom during reconstruction. He tells stories about the 20 years of living the life as slave to his amazing and courageous escape. Douglass portrayed the core meaning of slavery, for both individuals and of the nation in his narrative. His multiple meanings of freedom as an idea and reality of mind and body and of the consequences of its denial were his themes in the book. The narrative also uncovers Douglass’s symbolic strategies in moral and economic slavery, the master-slave relationship, the psychology of slaveholder, the aims and arguments of abolitionists and the impending political crisis between North and South. He believed in equal rights as throughout his narrative dreamed of being free and wondered why slaves where treated the way they were.
Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey in Tuckahoe, Maryland. He never new his exact age as there was never any record of his birth. Not knowing this information made him realize early on that there was a difference and unfairness in equality as he commented on he never met a slave in his life who could tell when their birthday was or how old they were. He continued saying how white children knew of their birth date and their age, so why shouldn’t African Americans have the same privilege. As far as his family, he never had a good relationship with his mother because she was never around and Douglass only saw her 4 or 5 times in his life before she died. His father, according to Frederick was white and rumors were spread about his master may potentially be his...

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