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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself Summary
Frederick Douglass

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself Summary

Introduction

In 1838, at the age of twenty, Frederick Douglass escaped slavery and settled in the North. He quickly became involved in the campaign against slavery, known as the abolitionist movement. Seven years later in 1845, he published the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself, in which he told the story of his life under slavery. His moving account of slavery and his eventual escape lent a certain authenticity to Douglass' speeches and writings against institutionalized slavery that white abolitionists did not have. His use of vivid language in depicting violence against slaves, his psychological insights into the power dynamics between slaves and slaveholders, and his naming of specific persons and places made his book a powerful indictment against a society (both in the North and South of the United States) that continued to condone slavery as a viable social and economic institution.

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