Important People in Stony the Road

Henry Louis Gates Jr.
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Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass escaped slavery in 1838 and went on to become a brilliant and outspoken activist for African American rights, and an inspiration for the generation of activists and thinkers that came after him. Gates quotes Douglass frequently throughout the text. Perhaps the most significant is the long quotation that begins the book, from Douglass' 1881 essay "The Color Line," in which he writes, "Slavery is indeed gone, but its shadow still lingers over the country and poisons more or less the moral atmosphere of all sections of the republic" (xiii). This quote epitomizes Gates entire project—exploring the pernicious effects of slavery on American culture in the days of Reconstruction and Redemption, and how those effects are still prevalent in society today.

Gates describes Douglass as a "master of self-fashioning and self-invention, of the manipulation of signs and symbols for political ends" (18) and goes on to note...

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This section contains 1,519 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Stony the Road Study Guide
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