Term Paper On Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was born a slave in 1817 as Frederick Bailey on a farm in Tuckahoe close to Easton town in Talbot Count Maryland. My Bondage and My Freedom is Douglass’s extended autobiography first published in 1855. “Storytelling is alive both as a historical model in looking back to Africa’s oral customs, as a foundation for the canon of Black writing in the slave narratives of Frederick Douglass, as a modern formal and informing way of narration”. Philip S. Foner. New York: International, 1950. 2: 289 – 290

Douglass ‘My Bondage, My freedom’ was the narrative have a propensity to neglect or undervalue vital changes affecting Douglass and the nation between the years 1845 and 1855. Frederick Douglass’s writings reproduce many American outlooks that were predisposed by national division. Douglass was a very booming abolitionist who changed outlooks of black and assisted them to fight for their rights. He was one of the leading leaders of the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery within the United States in the decades previous to the Civil War.

In My Bondage, the picture that Douglass references as reminiscent of his mother as well as his alteration of her heroic importance in his early life comprise both an academic citation and a sentimental revision.

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“It defines Douglass’s interference into the dispute over Negro ethnology throughout a period in which Egyptomania was beguiling America’s reading public”. Moses, Wilson Jeremiah. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998.
Frederick Douglass was a triumphant black leader who changed America’s outlook of slavery and he had many attainments all through his life. By giving several speeches Frederick Douglass caught the hearts of many people who approved with his outlooks. Douglass discloses the ethnic subjectivities involved in seeing, or in secularizing, blackness. He claims that white eyes can merely see blackness, as a category of radicalized and cultural strangeness, using a form of radicalizing viewing.

Douglass persisted in his script “My Bondage, My freedom” that the plan of the war must be to eliminate slavery and that blacks must be permitted to join in the battle for their liberty. Douglass portrays his mother in the Narrative with shocking stolidity. He stresses the irregularity of contact with her devoid of providing much in the way of emotional response to this distance, apart from insofar as this separation demonstrates slavery’s disparagement of family relationships valorized in sentimentalism. In “My Bondage, My freedom” Douglass study this false foundation that the evils most promoted by slavery and domination are exactly those which slaveholders and oppressors would transfer from their organization to the intrinsic character of their victims.

“Post-oppression behaviors are regularly cited as analytic of deep-rooted racial individuality without considering these behaviors as effects of, instead of reasons for, domination”. Neumann, Mark. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira P, 1996. 172 – 173.

Douglass may have been fascinated to sentimentalism because of its universalizing of human experience and moral growth all along an axis of gender rather than race. In identifying the source of ethics in human beings, sentimental discourses stressed feminine organization in forming children’s behavior, in spite of skin color. Nevertheless typical stories and poems were roughly all related to white mothers and infants, sentimentalism, like abolitionism and spiritual discourses in common, always obscure a universal application. “At a syntactic level, Douglass’s script wishes of private self-disclosure compete with his narrative’s abolitionist auto ethnographic plan”. Slote, Ben. Auto/Biography Studies 11(1996): 19-37.

“My mother and I were separated when I was but an infant”–dissolves to type in the very next sentence: “it is a common custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at a very early age” My Bondage and My Freedom, Frederick Douglass, Dover Publications, Incorporated, August 1977

Douglass treats his reader’s scotophil wish for the spectacle of blackness, chiefly the darker than “quite dark” blackness of the dejected female body, before admitting to a white fatherhood that carries with it a latent to bedevil his genuineness as a typical black slave.

In My Bondage and My Freedom, on the other hand, the recognizable tension of partial association seems in some way withdrawn, resolved before the act of writing, as if in the overriding years Frederick Douglass the man has so internalized the cultural assets of white literary America that Douglass the author in 1855 can note down about his mother as if she had been a sentimental building all along. The gap between the biographical information of his relationship with his mother and the topological fictions of her image are in some way fused prior to her renaissance in the second autobiography. Through his script, Douglass reminded the people in his audiences that yet in Massachusetts a black man could not for all time find work in his chosen profession. He described how he had been thrown out of railroad cars that were completely for white passengers. Even here, he said, churches separated their congregations and offered blacks a second place in paradise.

Douglass respected his wife’s domestic skills, but he also admired the educated, politically enthusiastic women who served in the antislavery and women’s rights arrangements. He was obliged for all the help the women abolitionists had given blacks, and in 1848, he proved his support for the feminist cause by attending the first women’s rights conference. The women delegates faltered to make the insist for voting rights a part of their movement’s proposal, and the feminist leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton asked Douglass to converse on the matter. With a request for bold action, Douglass convinced the women that political equality was a crucial step in their liberation.

The picture that Douglass so oddly deploys advances, that picture catalyzes ideological, communal, political, and chronological anxieties that are both internal and external to the biography externalized in the informal way that it is mentioned and up till now intrinsic to Douglass’s self-constructed relation to the world, by asset of the fact that this is, in spite of everything, a picture of his mother. In other words, the odd foreword of this picture may be a response to a precise site of disturbance at which we may sight Douglass in the very act of textual self-creation, as he recognizes, parodies, and perhaps represses anxieties of race, lineage, and uniqueness through the fictional trope of sentimental reminiscence and the academic device of the reference.

Douglass’s reference enters the boundaries of this community of restricted knowledge and redesigns its ways of knowing, transmitting, and watching information. Douglass overturns gendered and radicalized divergences by suggesting that the nation less color of sable motherhood, “the native genius of my sable… mother,” is more ethnically strong than the colorless nationhood of Anglo-Saxon fatherhood.

Douglass’s improved black individuality. Douglass features most frequently presented, as characteristically “Negroid” is indistinct, lips exaggerated, forehead miserable, and the whole look of the countenance made to go with the well-liked idea of Negro imbecility and poverty. The whiteness equally constructed by these writings recognized and created a group for whom such spectatorship was a biological right of advantage. “The largest brains…. theirs is the mission of extending perfect civilization–they are by nature ambitious, daring, domineering, and reckless of danger–impelled by an irresistible instinct, they visit all climes regardless of difficulties”. My Bondage and My Freedom, Frederick Douglass, Dover Publications, Incorporated, August 1977

Douglass attacks the united whiteness constructed in ethnological writings. Casting himself in the position of the black ethnographer, Douglass argues for vital differences between the white gaze and the black.

In Douglass’s autobiographies, the individuation of his life experiences points out both a turning away from the auto ethnographic endeavor of relating the self as a typical representative for an etherized community and a turn toward elaborating that community’s cultural history in relation to exclusive life experiences. Douglas writing encouraged slave movement and women’s rights during the 1800’s a lot. Through his writing he created awareness in black people to fight for their rights and to get freedom because they deserve it, it is their right to live a normal peaceful life with out being a servant for anyone. Douglass may have seen himself as a mulatto, as Martin and Walker would have it, but his use of the Ramses pictures and his point of view in “My Bondage, My freedom” confirm that he saw with the eyes of a black man.


My Bondage and My Freedom, Frederick Douglass, Dover Publications, Incorporated, August 1977

The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass. Ed. Philip S. Foner. New York: International, 1950. 2: 289 – 290.

Moses, Wilson Jeremiah. Afrotopia: The Roots of African American Popular History. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998.

Neumann, Mark. “Collecting Ourselves at the End of the Century.” Composing Ethnography: Alternative Forms of Qualitative Writing. Ed. Carolyn Ellis and Arthur P. Bochner. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira P, 1996. 172 – 173.

Slote, Ben. “Revising Freely: Frederick Douglass and the Politics of Disembodiment.” Auto/Biography Studies 11(1996): 19-37.

Smith, Sidonie. “Performativity, Autobiographical Practice, Resistance.” Auto/Biography Studies 10 (1995): 17

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