Annotated Bibliography: Frederick Douglass

Douglass, F. (1995). Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave. NY: Dover Publications.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a memoir written by Frederick Douglass back in 1845 aimed at depicting his life as former slave and fueling abolitionist movement in the United States. Comprised of eleven chapters, Douglass endeavors in explaining the forms of interaction occurring between slaves and slave-owners, accepted behaviour patterns, as well as his own fears, aspirations and acquisition of knowledge to write and read. The book presents the detailed roots for how Douglass’s hatred for slavery developed along with his ambitions to become a free man, and explores the drama of overcoming physical abuses, deprivations and disrespect, later resolved through the slave’s escape to the North and ultimate freedom.

Overall, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a valuable source for analyzing the slavery issues in the 19th century United States and the process of black people’s fight for their civil rights. Being an autobiography, the book provides the researchers with a unique insight of the African-American historical realities and could serve as a case study in exploring the specificities of the abolitionist movement.

 

Douglass, F. (2003). My Bondage and My Freedom. NY: Penguin Classics.

My Bondage and My Freedom is the second autobiography book produced by former slave Frederick Douglass 10 years after his legal emancipation in 1846. Covering the life of Douglass since his childhood years, the book contains the description of the author’s painful experiences and memories of being a slave, as well as reveals the ways that helped black people of those times to survive and even stay optimistic. In particular, Frederick Douglass discusses his own path to liberation, education, and gaining occupation and employment, which made him grow into to a remarkable reformer honestly and forcefully sharing his social and political thoughts.

Written already during Douglass’s career as a prominent spokesman for the rights of the American blacks, this work demonstrates the evolution of the author’s views to form into mature, highly analytical, and multi-layer arguments for equality and liberty. My Bondage and My Freedom thus stand out as a deep reflection over the essence of slavery, race and inter-racial relations, civil rights and freedoms, religion and faith, the power of literacy, contributing to better understanding of an individual and the nation as a whole right before the Civil War began. Given this, the work could be effectively applied in studying pre-war social conditions, the state of social moods in different social levels, as well as deep roots of the Civil War on a whole.

 

Douglass, F. (1992). Self-Made Men. In Blassinghame, J., & McKivigan, J., ed., The Frederick Douglass Papers. Series One, vol. 4. London: Yale University Press. pp. 545-75.

Self-Made Men is a famous lecture speech by Frederick Douglass, first delivered in 1859. In this logically composed piece of work, Douglass articulates his own definition of a self-made man, as well as reflects on how to become one. In particular, the author offers a theory of the low origins of a self-made man, one’s inability to inherit a high social position or share some other favorable conditions, and simultaneously denies the theory of good luck. In this way, the speech is mainly focused around d the meaning of such factors of success as physical and mental efforts, hard work and persistence.

Applying this approach to the position of the African-Americans in the American society, Frederick Douglass remarks that black people should have initially equal rights in whether they want to change their life circumstances or stay unmotivated. The speech could be seen, in the first place, as a beautifully constructed example of building an argument. Furthermore, it is a valuable source for understanding the views of pre-war social activists.

 

References:

Douglass, F. (1992). Self-Made Men. In Blassinghame, J., & McKivigan, J., ed., The Frederick Douglass Papers. Series One, vol. 4. London: Yale University Press. pp. 545-75.

Douglass, F. (1995). Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave. NY: Dover Publications.

Douglass, F. (2003). My Bondage and My Freedom. NY: Penguin Classics.

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]