Douglass’s Pictures

Through Frederick Douglass’s creation of his narrative and through him becoming an active public figure with speaking and writing, his words were meant to shape an image of himself. Douglass was always aware of his audiences, including of their prejudices and the things that mattered to them, and he worked to control both his words […]

Frederick Douglass

 After doing the extremely hard job of escaping slavery, Frederick Douglass faced an equally challenging job of creating a persuasive image — an image that would make people want to join the abolition movement. He knew the power of a picture and what it was capable of doing, so when in front of the camera […]

Frederick Douglass and the Power of Representation

Before the genre existed, Frederick Douglass wrote an autobiography entitled Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, often referred to as the Narrative. Douglass chronicled his intervallic existence from a man turned into a “slave” and, through hardship, into a man with agency. Born to an enslaved black mother and white enslaver […]

Self-Possession in The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

In The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass crafts a harrowing and intense account of his journey out of slavery and into freedom. The entirety of his story boils down to a concept explored in “History, Photography, and Race in the South: From the Civil War to Now Part 4—Pictures and Progress: Frederick […]

Picturing Douglass

This week we’re reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Watch: Supplementary Reading 1: Read and examine the images in Appendix A (page 173-184) on the European editions of Douglass’s narratives Supplementary Reading 2 (select one): Read any one of the Douglass letters written from Scotland in Appendix B Read Item 10 in Appendix […]