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Slave Narratives and Abolitionist Books Essay

… The need and impetus to escape is a common theme in the slave narratives, although for Jacobs escaping was made a more complex issue due to her having two children.

Slave narratives frequently compare and contrast the life of slaves on traditional Southern plantations vs. The life of slaves in urban centers. Jacobs adds to the mix an important element: that of domestic servants in the free North. When Jacobs escapes to the North, she encounters a situation that profoundly disturbs her. African-Americans are free on paper only. In reality, African-Americans like Linda Brent and her daughter are domestic servants who have just as little personal freedom as slaves on plantations. Their life is not filled with as much physical and mental abuse, but racism…. [read more]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau Confessions and Others Term Paper

… These last two aspects of Rousseau's life resonate with that of Douglass. As an African-American born into chattel slavery, Douglass also had a decidedly rough childhood. His father is never explicitly made clear, and he also had to sever relations with his mother at an early age due to the nature of the profession each had. And, in much the same way that Rousseau decided to run away to attempt to forge a better life, Douglass did as well. He was actually jailed for planning to run away with other slaves. Years later, while living in the northern part of the country he actually is able to run away and gain his freedom as a result. Rousseau was able to gain a degree of liberty…. [read more]

Rap Music: The Peculiar Institution Term Paper

… " (Douglass, Chpt 10)

Obviously, the oppressors did not reward positive action, betterment or forward thinking. The same can be said of the record labels promoting demeaning artists.

Mainstream America (young, white, suburban, male) began to purchase these records. Suddenly rap became a cash cow for the music industry. Most of the major record labels initiated "rap" divisions. The more fierce the self-degradation the more money there was to be made. Songs such as B*** Ain't Sh***

, Nann Ni****

, and Dem Ho's, are prime examples. Women also became a primary target for abuse.

African-American women have a history of being exploited by the slave owners who, "made a gratification of their wicked desires profitable as well as pleasurable" (Douglass, Chpt 1) Today they…. [read more]

Two Scenes or Episodes Form Candide and Two From the Life of Fredrick Douglass Term Paper

… Frederick Douglass and Voltaire

Frederick Douglass' view of mankind in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is harsher because it is real.

For example, in one scene, Douglass describes how while the slaves are "nearly perishing with hunger, when food in abundance lay mouldering in the safe and smoke-house" (Douglass 96), the "pious mistress and her husband would kneel every morning, and pray that God would bless them in blanket and store!" (96). Here we see mankind at its worst with one race believing it is better than another. In another scene, Douglass presents us with how the slaves are driven when he tell us the slaves "worked in all weathers... The longest days were too short for him, and the shortest nights were…. [read more]

Autobiography, Frederick Douglass Term Paper

… The Great House Farm was a place of privilege in an unprivileged world. Douglass's analysis of this phenomenon is necessary for the reader to understand deeper levels of existence under the confines of slavery. Douglass even offers political commentary here: "The same traits of character might be seen in Colonel Lloyd's slaves as are seen in the slaves of the political parties," (p. 76). That Douglass eventually went on to serve politicians makes clear his comprehension of the character of his chosen profession. In his time, the publication of the autobiography coupled with his singular station in life bordered on taboo. His commentary is bold, brash, and brilliant.

Finally, Douglass uses the motif of music to illuminate the emotional realities of slavery. His subjective experiences…. [read more]

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Book Report

… ¶ … Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

In history there are few pieces of literature that can tell the true amount of horror and suffering that a certain group of people are forced to endure. One such novel that captures the brutality of slavery and the moral hypocrisy that existed was the book: The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas, An American Slave. Where, this historical icon discusses the impact that slavery would have on his life, as he is transformed by the institution to become an abolitionist. To tell this story, Douglas describes his life in different phases to include: his life as slave, the awakening that would occur and his desire to achieve his freedom at any…. [read more]

Narratives of the Life of Frederick Douglass Reaction Paper

… ¶ … Narratives of the Life of Frederick Douglass is talking about his life in slavery and how he was able to free himself. This occurs by highlighting the way he was passed around from one slave master to the next. He was considered their property and was either loaned or rented to others. This caused him to endure tremendous hardships (which impacted his state of mind). However, after he was able to escape is when he became an author and lecturer (who focused on illustrating the injustices that were occurring). (Gates)

What is the main concern of the book?

The main focus of the book is talk about the impact of slavery on the individual and to highlight the abuses that are taking place.…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass Former Slave, Abolitionist Term Paper

… "

From a political point-of-view, Lincoln saw some problems with this point.

Soldiers performing "great and uncommon service on the battlefield" should be rewarded just as the white soldiers. Lincoln saw no problems with this point.

Douglass was a civil rights advocate long before Rosa Parks ever sat on a bus. He would travel a good deal. On trains, he purchased first class tickets. One day he was made to move by force. Sometimes he was beaten severely. He proposed the creation of a National Black Council and a National black manual training school. People wrote him of blacks needing help. William Still, for example, wrote Douglass in February 1852 of the Resistance at Christiana (PA) and the kidnapping of Rachel Parker.

Huggins points out,…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass Literacy Studies Term Paper

… Sociology and Academia in Frederick Douglass's "Learning to Read and Write"

An American hero, epitome of the evils of slavery, and true embodiment of the American dream, former slave Frederick Douglass rose from the bowels of society to become one of the United States' most learned scholars. The sheer beauty and elegance of his essay "Learning to Read and Write," is proof that the institution of slavery oppressed some of the most brilliant and creative minds of the plantation era. Despite the fluid language and artful prose, however, the facts of the article are enough to confirm Douglass' station as one of the most capable and ambitious academician of his time. Douglass' description of his own struggle to attain literacy is useful for far more…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass Short Biography Term Paper

… Frederick Douglass

Short Biography on the Life of Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass, born a slave, was the first African-American leader and abolitionist in American history (McElrath 2007, UXL Newsmakers 2005). He escaped from slavery and became a powerful anti-slavery advocate as well as an advocate for women's rights. These achievements and the various government positions he occupied after the Civil made his one of the most influential figures of the 19th century (McElrath).

Frederick Douglass was born in the eastern shore of Maryland on February 14, 1817, the date of his personal choice (UXL Newsmakers 2005, McElrath 2007). He was named Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey and adopted the family name Douglass later on. His mother was Harriet Bailey, also a slave, with whom he had…. [read more]

Douglass Narrative Frederick Douglass Paints Essay

… Douglass Narrative

Frederick Douglass paints a vivid picture of what life was like as a slave on several farms in Maryland during the early part of the 19th century. What emerges is a portrait of a time in American society where base human behavior was not uncommon. Even though the brutal whippings described by Douglass are shocking, it is the day-to-day struggles of the slaves that seem to carry the most troubling message of what cruelties mankind is capable of.

Douglass does not waste much time in getting to a description of a cruel whipping. He discusses how slaves rarely know their birth dates, whether through tradition, indifference, or both, and how infants are torn from the mothers and sent away to other farms. Foremost…. [read more]

African American Literature Term Paper

… Describing a naming ritual, Haley has the father walking through a village to his wife. "Moving to his wife's side, he lifted up the infant and, as all watched, whispered three times into his son's ear the name he had chosen for him. It was the first time the name had ever been spoken as this child's name, for Omoro's people felt that each human being should be the first to know who he was" (Haley, p.3). This ritual shows the involvement of both parents in the child's rearing; not only with the selection of name, but also with their involvement in the community. Moreover, it highlights the importance of naming to parents, which brings to mind the fact that so many African-Americans carry surnames…. [read more]

Slave Narrative and Black Autobiography Term Paper

… Several blacks were even admitted to the Military Academy.

The white intellectual community came to see black literature as somewhat formulaic. The linguist Geneva Smitherman in Talkin and Testifyin. For Smitherman, Signifyin (g) is a black "mode of discourse" that is a synonym of "dropping lugs; joanin; capping; [and] sounding." She believed the slave narrative to be characterized by eight common features:

indirection, circumlocution metaphorical-imagistic (but images rooted in the everyday, real world) humorous, ironic rhythmic fluency and sound teachy but not preachy directed at person or persons usually present in the situational context punning, play on words introduction of the semantically or logically unexpected. (Gates, 94)

It is interesting to note that many of these characteristics are to be found in the Rhythm and…. [read more]

Pedagogy -- Langston Hughes Essay

… There must also exist the political will to make the changes that a new perspective indicates.

Critical pedagogy, as Freire would go on to demonstrate, is a continuous process -- a cycle that includes unlearning, learning, relearning, reflection, and evaluation. This process is achieved through critical consciousness that emphasizes developing an understanding of the world that is developed through exposure to and perception of social and political contradictions. Traditional schooling is believed to contribute to historical acceptance of oppression by the disenfranchised. Further, critical consciousness assumes that one will take action against the oppressive factors in life that have been revealed and illuminated by way of the development of that understanding. The power of critical consciousness is demonstrated by both Hughes and Douglass, and perhaps…. [read more]

Slave, Not Born Research Paper

… However, Hughes complicity in attempting to assist his master tie up Douglass (so he could cruelly beat a man who was bound) is merely part of a lengthy tradition of preferentialism within chattel slavery that inherently affected the psychology of slaves, and which simply reinforces the notion that slaves were made and not born that way.

The following quotation (Jones) emphasizes this tradition, its effects upon slaves, and ultimately reinforces the notion that slavery (and in particular this aspect of preferential treatment) is certainly something learned, and not that one is born with.

In a sense, however, the extension of "special privileges" to Negro house servants ("house niggers"), did early help to create a new class of Negros, within the slave system. The "house nigger"…. [read more]

Role of Female Characters in Frederick Douglass' Narrative Term Paper

… Women in Douglass

Still Bound to Notions of the Separate Spheres and Roles of Men and Women: Frederick Douglass My Life in Bondage

One might like to think of Frederick Douglass as a purely radical thinker, a man on the cutting edge of female rights as well as Black liberation. But in his autobiography, Douglass was more apt to confirm common notions of acceptable feminine behavior and feminine nature than to subvert such notions. He does make it clear that the American institution of slavery had a uniquely deleterious effect upon the hearts, minds and souls of American womanhood. When this was suggested Frederick Douglass in his seminal anti-slavery autobiography entitled My Life in Bondage, he spoke to an America so hardened to slavery that…. [read more]

Equiano Douglas the Narratives Essay

… Richards points out that Equiano was the quintessential "self-made man" who understood how to build a sort of brand for himself in order to promote his political ideas and his books. Equiano was much different from Douglass, in that he emphasized entrepreneurialism rather than a return to a pastoral ideal as means of self-liberation. Moreover, the Students' Guide to African-American Literature, 1760 to the Present points out that Equiano "helped to establish and run a Virginia plantation in the mid-1770s," and that he wasn't really anti-slavery so much as he was anti-cruelty (5). In spite of his emphasis on Christian ideals, Equiano's morality comes across as being somewhat contradictory in light of the core social and political undercurrents of racism. It would seem that Douglass…. [read more]

Shoemaker and Douglass Expansion More Representative Era Term Paper

… Shoemaker & Douglass Expansion

More Representative Era: Frederick Douglass's in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass or George R.T. Hewes's in the Shoemaker and the Tea Party?

In general, eras are defined by historians based on movements, accomplishments or changes that occurred within them. Most heroes of eras are men (or at least those remembered by history tend to be men). An American historical figure like Thomas Paine or Patrick Henry who is called by historians "a man [it was usually a man] of his time," when or historians conclude, similarly, that a hero's time "suited him," usually this person affected, through actions, words, writings, or all of these, outcomes of matters unique to his time. He also typified others of his time, even…. [read more]

Gender and Violence Narrative Term Paper

… Thus, violence was central to his personal development and coming of age. Nothing else can account for his rise from the oppression of slavery to become a world famous freedom fighter, writer and orator.

Like Douglass, Janie Crawford's life, too, is shaped by violence and oppression. The sexual rape of her grandmother and mother by white men directly affects Janie, as evidenced by her wish for a life different from a "nigger woman...mule of the world." (Hurston, 1978, p. 29) Indeed, it is Janie's drive to escape from masculine suppression and violence that leads her to leave Logan Killicks, defy Jody in public, and later tie her fortunes to Tea Cake, a man with nothing more to offer than his treating her well. Unfortunately, Janie's…. [read more]

Benjamin Franklin and Frederick Douglas Term Paper

… Without this love of books and learning being instilled in him Franklin could have never become the great thinker, speaker, author, and statesmen that he was to become.

Frederick Douglas's life story as he narrates it in his biography, however, tells a much bleaker tale that shows even more the ability of one man to use his wits and his natural talents to pull himself up by the bootstraps after a fashion that will enable him to achieve a better and more important life. Like in Franklin's case, it was the moment where Douglas realized the true importance of education that everything began to come together for him and his life began to take a very different path. Indeed, Douglas's mistress, Mrs. Auld, began to…. [read more]

Rousseau, Douglass, Both Prose Writers Term Paper

… He is the arbiter of the diverse and he is the key. He is the equalizer of his age and land... If peace is the routine, and of him speaks the spirit of peace, large, rich... he encourages the study of man, the soul, immortality... his thoughts are the hymns of praise of the things - in the talk on the soul and eternity - God off of his equal place - he is silent - he sees eternity in men and women.

What makes Whitman different - his free choice of subject and his desire to follow his whims and his personal desires. He brings these into his writing - never mind if he violates the sensibilities of his readers.

William Wordsworth - Poet…. [read more]

American Literature Frederick Douglas' Autobiography "The Narrative Essay

… American Literature

Frederick Douglas' autobiography "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas" and Kate Chopin's short story "A Pair of Silk Stockings" put across accounts from the lives of two African-Americans living in the nineteenth century. Whereas the action in "A Pair of Silk Stockings" takes place somewhere around the turn of the century, Frederick Douglas' account is told from the perspective of a man who lived through slavery and who is determined to contribute to ending it. In spite of the fact that slavery is no longer present in Kate Chopin's short story, one can still understand that African-Americans were discriminated at the time and that they were associated with poverty.

Douglas is prevented from achieving freedom by the slavery system, as it…. [read more]

Slave Life in the South and North Thesis

… ¶ … slave life in the South and North colonies/states from the 1680's to the Civil War. A great wealth of slave narratives exist in print today, a legacy of the slaves' experience in both the North and South in America. Reading them gives a graphic introduction into the lives of early African-Americans, from what they suffered to how they maintained their dignity, hope, and wishes for freedom even in their darkest and most miserable hours.

A got Mother Wit instead of an education. Lots of colored people in offices and school don't seem to know what Mother Wit is. Well, it's like this: I got a wit to teach me what's wrong. I got a wit to not make me a mischief-maker. I got…. [read more]

Classic Slave Narrative of Olaudah Term Paper

… "Have already related an instance or two of particular oppression out of many which I have witnessed, but the following is frequent in all the islands. The wretched field-slaves, after toiling all the day for an unfeeling owner who gives them but little victuals, steal sometimes a few moments from rest or refreshment to gather some small portion of grass, according as their time will admit." He states that the disconnection of a common sense of humanity between the owners and the slaves in the West Indies, as opposed to his own culture, resulted in the particular privation experienced by slaves in the area.

However, as Equiano's experience as a slave evolved, he begins, as a narrator, to harden his perspective upon slavery and to…. [read more]

Soul by Soul: Life Inside Book Review

… One obvious objection to Johnson's approach is that his data disproportionately draws from specific states, more so than others. The Louisiana legal system was very different from the systems present even in most other areas of the South, and the complex racial dynamics of the Creole community within New Orleans give the city a distinct character. Johnson also does not merely present the documents he used, such as the legal cases, for the reader to scan as primary sources. He reads them much as one might a work of literature, looking for hidden meanings not immediately obvious to the observer. Johnson, perhaps most controversially, believes that slaves often took part in what he calls 'shaping' the sales themselves, by pretending to be ill if they…. [read more]

Narrative of Frederick Douglass Vocabulary Thesis

… Plummer represents the institution of slavery because he was a "savage monster" (Douglass 45). He was always drunk and he was never without his cow skin and heavy cudgel. Douglass writes that at times, it seems as if he took pleasure in beating a slave. Plummer was so mean that Mr. Anthony was shocked at his behavior.

The spirituals allowed the slaves to express themselves and their desire for a better future. They may have sounded like gibberish but they were symbols of hope. When the slaves had nothing to look forward to, they could at least sing and feel as if they had one another for that moment.

Tarring the fence to keep slaves from the garden is unjust and greedy because tar might…. [read more]

Frederick Douglass' Use of Classical Appeals Thesis

… Logos, Pathos, and Ethos in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. To make his case for the abolition of slavery, Douglass uses classical appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos. In this brief paper, a number of those appeals will be highlighted, and outline notes concerning Douglass' rhetoric, audience, purpose and exegesis will be offered.

Ethos is an appeal to one's character or credibility, designed to persuade. Douglass makes such appeals by telling his life story in such a way that it seems entirely believable. Where he knows events, such as names of various masters and places of various plantations or homes in which he was kept, he gives them. However, he is also candid about what he doesn't know, including such critical information as…. [read more]

South - Mary Chesnut Term Paper

… I would go down on the plantation tomorrow and stay there even if there were no white person in twenty miles" (Clinton, 195)

And when it came to the sexual dynamics of slavery, and slave masters "breeding" (Thomas, 2002) their female slaves to produce more slaves - and from a brutally mercenary perspective, owners did not always have to "buy" slaves but just "produce" them through human reproductive processes - Mary Chesnut did not mince words. Her contempt for white slave-owners impregnating female slaves was made clear when she said (Clinton, 199): "God forgive us, but ours is a monstrous system, a wrong and iniquity...the mulattoes one sees in every family partly resemble the white children. Any lady is ready to tell you who is…. [read more]

Voice and Identity in Narrative Term Paper

… In "Narratives of the Life," Douglass wrote:

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."

Doing such was no small feat or abstract act. It was an act of enormous symbolic and psychological importance for slaves - akin to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in the South in the 1960's a century later, thus sparking the civil rights movement.

William Lloyd…. [read more]

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