Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
by Frederick Douglass

This is Douglass’ actual account of his time as a slave and his escape. It’s heartbreaking to think of all he went through and then to remember that this happened to thousands of slaves. I was amazed by his strong will and determination; it never faltered. No matter what happened to him, he failed to break. His “masters” are the ones who gave up in the end. He was such a brave individual, they didn’t want to cross him and lose face in front of their other slaves.

One of the most astounding things in the book is that Douglass gives no details of his actual escape. He says he can’t explain how he did it because he might be giving away an escape route another slave is about to take. This really drove home the point that he wrote this when slavery was still very active. What an incredibly courageous man.

Even though he was born into slavery, at no point did he say, well this is just my life. He looked at his impossible situation and thought, how can I change this? It was inspiring! If he can change his life, in that time period, what excuse do we have?


B said...

I read this in college for my African American Lit class and thought it was incredibly heartbreaking and moving.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I couldn't believe he wrote this while there was still slavery in America. Unbelievable.

BookQuoter said...

A must read for everyone don't you think, if only to inspire us, just as your last paragraph says?

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Agreed, I think it's especially important for Americans to understand. Unfortunately, it's part of our history and not something we can just ignore.

Jenny said...

I admire Frederick Douglass more than almost anyone in all of history -- I think it's incredible how he decided to learn to read and then just relentlessly pursued learning all the rest of his life. It makes me so grateful that literacy was just given to me.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jenny - I've never thought of the fact that literacy was given to me. That's such amazing way to look at it. It's not something I had to work hard to obtain. What an incredible gift!