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Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, who later became known as Frederick Douglass, was born a slave in Talbot County, Maryland near Hillsboro. He escaped.

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Presentation on theme: "Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, who later became known as Frederick Douglass, was born a slave in Talbot County, Maryland near Hillsboro. He escaped."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, who later became known as Frederick Douglass, was born a slave in Talbot County, Maryland near Hillsboro. He escaped slavery in 1838 and went to New York city and married Anna Murray, a free colored woman. He is famously known as an American abolitionist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer and is popularly referred to as "The Sage of Anacostia" and "The Lion of Anacostia”. As one of the foremost leaders of the abolitionist movement, Douglass fought to end slavery within the United States in the decades prior to the Civil War. During the Civil War, he served as an adviser to President Abraham Lincoln and fought for the adoption of constitutional amendments that guaranteed voting rights and other civil liberties for blacks. About Frederick Douglass

3 Douglass' most well-known work is his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, which was published in Critics frequently attacked the book as inauthentic, not believing that a black man could possibly have produced so eloquent a piece of literature. The book was an immediate bestseller, selling over 11,000 copies and received overwhelmingly positive critical reviews. Autobiography

4 To present the reality of slavery. To generate enthusiasms for the abolitionist struggle. In his own words, “ Sincerely and earnestly hoping that this little book may do something toward throwing light on the American slave system, and hastening the glad day of deliverance to the millions of my brethren in bonds--faithfully relying upon the power of truth, love, and justice, for success in my humble efforts—and solemnly pledging my self anew to the sacred cause.” Reasons for writing an Autobiography

5 Slaves did not know when they were born and couldn’t determine how old they were. Children born into slavery were denied the privilege of knowing their age and their parentage. A few lucky ones had the liberty to see their mother 4 or 5 times in their lifetime. “ I do not recollect of ever seeing my mother. She made her journeys to see me in the night, traveling the whole distance of 12 miles on foot. Her death soon ended what little we could have while she lived, and with it her hardships and suffering ”. In His Times …

6 Whipping and selling unmanageable slaves, naked children, want of time to sleep over want of beds, fiendish barbarity of slave holders, fields of blood and blasphemy. “I have seen him whip a woman, causing the blood to run half an hour at the time; and this, too, in the midst of her crying children, pleading for their mother's release. He seemed to take pleasure in manifesting his fiendish barbarity ”. Horses valued more than slaves, never say a word against a complaint, luxury of whipping the servants, penalty of telling the truth, ‘still tongue makes a wise head’, disgrace to be a poor man's slave. He Recalls …

7 The book is divided into eleven chapters describing his life, from birth into slavery to escape into freedom. In the first few chapters, he gives an account of his childhood and narrates few incidents revealing the horrible character of slavery and the devilish atrocities inflicted upon them. In the next few chapters, Douglass describes his struggle towards freedom at Baltimore. He speaks about his everlasting and unabated desire to learn to read, realizing that education is a pathway from slavery to freedom. Towards the end, he describes his efforts in planning to escape to the north, to become ‘his own master’. Organization of the book

8 The slave narrative is a literary form which grew out of the experience of enslaved Africans in the New World. Some six thousand former slaves from North America and the Caribbean gave an account of their lives during the 18th and 19th centuries The Genre soon emerged as a mainstay of African American literature. North American and Caribbean slave narratives can be broadly categorized into three distinct forms: Tales of religious redemption, Tales to inspire the abolitionist struggle, and Tales of progress. The tales written to inspire the abolitionist struggle such as Frederick Douglass's autobiography, are the most famous because, they tend to have a strong autobiographical motif. The Genre – A Slave Narrative

9 Throughout the Narrative, Douglass has a tendency to skip around often and does not always follow a completely chronological ordering. Throughout the text it can be noticed that Douglass makes reference not just to the cruelity of slavery as an insititution, but also to the way it has become institutionalized through things like politics, law, religon, and social practices. “ There is no legal protection in fact, whatever there may be in form, for the slave population; and any amount of cruelty may be inflicted on them with impunity. Is it possible for the human mind to conceive of a more horrible state of society? ” Analyzing the book …

10 Often, the reader is left to figure out the psychology behind the awful incidents described while Douglass simply explains his feelings and reactions. The plantation where slaves were employed, is described as being so big that many slaves never even saw their master and vice versa. Douglass details an instance in which a slave was heading down a road and encountered his master without knowing who he was. When the unknown master asked the slave how he was treated and the slave responded that he was ill-treated, he was made an example of by being chained up and sold to a slave trader—one of the worst punishments. Analyzing the book …

11 Douglass often interrupts his own story to tell tales of other slaves. He does this to emphasize his points and show the extent of the cruelty and wrong of slavery even if he wasn’t directly involved in the event he describes. These side stories work to tell the whole tale of slavery by showing the extent to which the cruelty was manifest. “ The slave auctioneer's bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master ”. A turning point in the narrative comes after an incident in which Douglass revolted back against his master, for the first time in his life. He describes this incident as the turning point in his life, for it rekindled the flame of hope for freedom in his heart. Analyzing the book …

12 Metaphorical References : Douglass uses innumerous metaphors throughout his autobiography. ‘A still tongue makes a wise head'. ‘It is worth a half-cent to kill a nigger and a half-cent to bury one’ ‘Learning would spoil the best nigger in the world and would make him unfit for a slave’. ‘ Education - the pathway from slavery to freedom’ ‘ It is wise to bear the ills present than to fly to those unknown’ ‘Escape from a den of hungry lions’ ‘The paper (The Liberator) is my meat and drink’ Analyzing the book …

13 Words used : Douglass uses a variety of words to color his experiences. Torture : atrocity, hardships, suffering, horror, terror. Slave holders : fiendish, barbarous, cruel, artful, obdurate. Slaves : weak, emaciated, scarred, painful gnawings of hunger. Slavery : blood, blasphemy, dehumanizing character, wretchedness Feelings of Slaves : depressed spirit, ineffable sadness, thrill of horror, unbearable mental torture, torment, sting, unutterable anguish, horrid, dread, apprehension. Education/Freedom : prosperity, divine providence, joy, rapture, happiness, unabated interest, blessedness, bliss. Analyzing the book …

14 Douglass says that what troubled him the most before making the escape was, that he would be separated from his dear friends at Baltimore and he would not see them again, even if he was successful or if he failed in his mission. “ It is my opinion that thousands would escape from slavery, who now remain, but for the strong cords of affection that bind them to their friends. The thought of leaving my friends was decidedly the most painful thought with which I had to contend. The love of them was my tender point, and shook my decision more than all things else ”. Nostalgia …

15 “We were all ranked together at the valuation. Men and women, old and young, married ands single, were ranked with horses, sheep and swine. There were horses and men, cattle and women, pigs and children, all holding the same rank in the scale of being, and were all subjected to the same narrow examination” “I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out” “ There I was in the midst of thousands, and yet a perfect stranger; without home and without friends, in the midst of thousand of my own brethren—children of a common Father, and yet I dared not to unfold to any one of them my sad condition ” Quotes from the book

16 Death is Better than bondage for life …


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