Item description for The Life and Times Of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass...
Overview Born in slavery in Maryland in 1817, Frederick Douglass escaped from servitude twenty years later, joined the ranks of abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and John Brown, and devoted a long and fruitful life to the winning of freedom for his people. A fervent integrationist, Douglass believed that true freedom could not come for him until all blacks were free and equal, and he gave voice and direction to the movement to achieve this goal. Told in Douglass's own words, this volume stands as one of the most important chronicles of one man's courageous fight to end slavery.
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Frederick Douglass, born around1817, was the son of an African-American woman and a white slaveholder. Brilliant and brave, Douglass once led a minor insurrection against his masters--but unlike the famous Nat Turner, Douglass escaped his venture alive. While still a young man he fled, hungry and hunted, to the North, where he was befriended by abolitionists. His dramatic autobiography was published in 1845, creating a sensation and spurring Douglass's career as a militant, uncompromising leader of African-Americans. He recruited African-American volunteers for the Civil War and later secured and protected the rights of the freemen. Douglass later became secretary of the Santo Domingo Commission, Recorder of Deeds in the District of Columbia, and United States Minister to Haiti. He died in 1895. Peter J. Gomes was the minister at Memorial Church at Harvard University from 1974 until his death in 2011. Among his many books are The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart and Strength for the Journey: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living.Gregory Stephens is Lecturer of Cultural Studies and Film in the Department of Literature in English, University of West Indies--Mona. He is the author of On Racial Frontiers: The New Culture of Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison, and Bob Marley. Previously he was an award-winning songwriter and journalist in Austin and Laredo, Texas, as well as a bilingual public school teacher (Spanish/English). He lives in Kingston, Jamaica.
Frederick Douglass was born in 1818 and died in 1895.
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UP FROM SLAVERY-THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS Feb 12, 2007
FEBRUARY IS BLACK HISTORY MONTH
At the start of the 21st century the international labor movement faces, as it has for a long time, a crisis of revolutionary leadership. That leadership is necessary to resolve the contradiction between the outmoded profit-driven international capitalist productive system and a future production system based on social solidarity, cooperation and production for social use. In America, at least, there is also a crisis of leadership of the black liberation struggle, which is tied into the labor question as well through the key role of blacks in the labor force. More happily in the 19th century in the struggle against slavery by the slaves and former slaves for black liberation there was such a leadership and none more important than the subject of this autobiography, Frederick Douglass. Even a cursory look at his life puts today `clean' black leadership in the shades.
That Frederick Douglass was exceptional as a fighter for black freedom, women's rights and as a man there is no question. His early life story of struggle for individual escape from slavery, attempts to educate himself and take an active political role on the slavery question rightly thrilled audiences here and in Europe. I, however, believe that he definitely came into his own as a revolutionary politician when he broke from Garrisonian non-resistant abolitionism and linked up with more radical elements like John Brown and the Boston `high' abolitionists like Wendell Phillips and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. This abolitionist element pointed the way to the necessary fight to the finish strategy, arms in hand, to end slavery that eventually came to fruition in the Civil War.
At one time I personally believed that Douglass should have gone with John Brown to Harpers Ferry. He would have provided a better grasp of the political and military situation there than Brown had and would have been forceful in calling out the slaves and others in the area to aid the uprising. In no way was my position on his refusal based on his personal courage of which there was no question. I now believe that Douglass more than made up for any help he would have given Brown by his work for an emancipation proclamation and for his calls for arming blacks in the Civil War to take part in their own emancipation. As such, it is well known that Douglass was instrumental in calling for the creation of the famous Massachusetts 54th Regiment, including the recruitment of two of his sons. Yes, 200,000 black soldiers and sailors under arms fighting to the death, and under penalty of death by the rebels, for their freedom is a fitting monument to the man.
Douglass, as well as every other militant abolitionist worth his or her salt, lined up politically with the new Republican Party headed by Lincoln and Seward before, during and shortly after the Civil War. However, the Republican Party ran out of steam as a progressive force fairly shortly after the war, culminating in the sell-out Compromise of 1877 which abandoned blacks to their fate in the South. Douglass, committed to emancipation, education and `forty acres and a mule' for his fellows stayed with that party far too long. When key elements of that party lost heart in the fight for black emancipation due to their racism and other factors, moved on to other more financially rewarding interests, or accepted the traditional white leadership of the South he also should have moved on to another progressive formation. Embryonic workers parties and other such progressive formations were raising their heads in the 1870's. I do not believe that office in the Consular Service in Haiti was worth continuing to support a party going in the wrong direction. Notwithstanding that point, if you want to read about the exploits of a `big man' in the history of the struggles of the oppressed, our history, when it counted this is your stop. Honor the memory of Frederick Douglass.
One of my Relatives Apr 7, 2005
- As an author myself, I recommend that you purchase this book for personal study. "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" is a fascinating book and video that helped me understand one of my relatives. Author. "Knowledge For Tomorrow" Quinton Douglass Crawford
A powerful book, on many levels. Oct 25, 1998
This book, written in Douglass' later years, not only lifted my spirits but did a great deal to reestablish my faith in humanity. This was a man who had every opportunity, and reason, to be bitter and/or vengeful. He, instead, chose to fight, with his intellect and his golden tongue, for what he, and others chained in slavery and social subservience, rightfully disserved as a member of our human race. He was a man of conviction and inner strength who taught himself to write with an elegance that I have never seen equaled. I strongly recommend this book.