This link provides a nice overview of some of the major events in the life of Frederick Douglass. It gives you a nice way to put the time period and specific dates Douglass lived in context.
Category Archives: Frederick Douglass Archive
On the National Public Radio website, literary expert Farah Jasmine Griffin discusses Frederick Douglass’ autobiography and his experiences as a fugitive slave. She focuses on Douglass’ efforts to create a narrative that focuses on his journey from a slave to a free man in society. Below is the link to the audio clip:
Additionally on NPR, host Michael Martin speaks with author John Stauffer about the relationship and commonalities between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Stauffer presents the idea that Lincoln and Douglass were alike in many ways, despite their different thoughts on how slavery should come to an end, an interesting point of view considering many people do not even know Lincoln and Douglass had any kind of friendship. Below is the link to the audio clip and the cover image of Stauffer’s book:
Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln
The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum is a new exhibit in Peterboro, New York. According to the website, the museum “honors antislavery abolitionists, their work to end slavery, and the legacy of that struggle, and strives to complete the second and ongoing abolition – the moral conviction to end racism.” Frederick Douglass was one of the first abolitionists inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005. The website has information on other abolitionists and their work. Feel free to check out the website or visit the museum the next time you’re in Central New York!
Here is the site of Frederick Douglass’s home in Washington D.C. Some really interesting insight in the photos here about the time period and how he lived. Check it out!
Actor Norman Matlock reading a part of Frederick Douglass’ “An Appeal to the British People” speech. I enjoyed listening to an audio version of one of Douglass’ speeches, I was allowed to envision his powerful language and fervor in his arguments for freedom.
Here is the link to the site where you can listen to the speech:
Here is a slide show that depicts Frederick Douglass’ homes, family members, his gravesite, and other monuments dedicated to him. Viewing this short slide show allowed me to envision parts of Douglass’ life, and it was interesting to see what his homes look like today.
Here is a link to a clear and helpful timeline of events in his life, separated by chapters starting with his years as a slave.
Robert Hayden was the first African-American to be appointed Consultant of Poetry to the Library of Congress. He is known for his elegant poetic style, and focuses on black historical experiences. Hayden extensively studied American and African-American history, a thread that is highly woven in his poems about slavery, freedom, and abolitionists, including a poem devoted to Frederick Douglass. In this poem, Hayden is praising Douglass while predicting the effects of his great abolitionist work in the future, stating clearly, “this man shall be remembered”. Glorifying Douglass as an ideal figure and highlighting his suffering in order to achieve success, Hayden creates an image of Douglass that is honorable.
By Robert Hayden
When it is finally ours, this freedom, this liberty, this beautiful
and terrible thing, needful to man as air,
usable as earth; when it belongs at last to all,
when it is truly instinct, brain matter, diastole, systole,
reflex action; when it is finally won; when it is more
than the gaudy mumbo jumbo of politicians:
this man, this Douglass, this former slave, this Negro
beaten to his knees, exiled, visioning a world
where none is lonely, none hunted, alien,
this man, superb in love and logic, this man
shall be remembered. Oh, not with statues’ rhetoric,
not with legends and poems and wreaths of bronze alone,
but with the lives grown out of his life, the lives
fleshing his dream of the beautiful, needful thing.
(Robert Hayden, The Poetry Foundation)