Thursday, June 4, 2015

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass written by Himself

Frederick Douglass....What a remarkable man!!

I haven’t read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass in quite awhile, and my people, if you have not read it in awhile, or if you have never read it, it is worth reading.

Here are a few things that I thought about while reading this book:
  1. Douglass came to the realization after hearing one of his master’s speak that learning to read would make him unfit to be a slave, and his master was definitely right. Reading and writing made Douglass unfit to be a slave. Knowledge really is power!
  2. The way that Douglass described the brutality of slavery made me extremely sad. I felt sad to know that humans were subjected to such harsh treatment, and many died never knowing how it feels to be free. I tried to wrap my mind around being beaten with a whip, and I can not even began to imagine the blow to the body, self esteem, self respect etc. 
  3. I thought a lot about what would make a person treat another person like he/she were not human. I wonder did the masters ever think about how their slaves may have felt, or did they see them as nonhuman, and drove them the same way that a person may drive a mule. 
  4. I thought about Frederick as a person, and how he went from being a slave to being a recognized, respected person. I have visited his house in DC often, and I thought about the miracle of going from being a slave to owning a home in DC that is built on one of the highest points in DC. Frederick could literally see all over DC from his home. Miracles do happen!
  5. I was very excited to get to the end of the book, and see Frederick mention David Ruggles, and this time, I was familiar with him. Seeing David’s name in this book made me feel some satisfaction that David’s abolitionist work was not done in vain. 
  6. Many of the events in the books occurred in places that I am familiar with such as Baltimore. As I walk the streets of Baltimore and the other places that Douglass mentions in his book, it’s hard to imagine that slaves walked those same grounds... I’ll be looking for some of those historical markers in the cities that Douglass mentioned one day soon.
  7. And finally, I am so happy that Frederick wrote this book. So many of the slave stories are written by other people, and I am so happy to read a book about slavery that is written by a former slave.
This summer I will be visiting Frederick’s home in New York, his burial site, and many more sites that pertain to Douglass.... EXCITED!!

This is definitely a book that should be read and read and read!

Join me in reading Border War: Fighting over Slavery before the Civil War by Stanley Harrold:

Summer 2015 is going to be great!


Darkowaa said...

I agree! I'm glad he wrote the book himself, instead of others telling the (biased) story of slavery from a Western lens. I will have to look into this! I hope it wasn't overwhelmingly sad though.

Jacqueline said...

Darkowaa, it's not sad at all; it's actually uplifting and shows the power of knowledge. Also, it's a very quick read.

Darkowaa said...

Good to know, its on my list!

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