Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
As a former slave, Frederick Douglass tells his story and gives his opinion on slavery:
“What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim […] There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour”.
At first sight, the statement would be considered as an emotional attack on the white leaders of America, but it has depth because of his past being a former slave and the fact that he experienced it all himself, even though his wish for emancipation was frown upon15. Furthermore, he expresses his criticism of the American society and that the celebration of Fourth of July seems hypocritical because of “The Peculiar Institution”.
During the Civil War, “he advised Abraham Lincoln on the employment of black soldiers and
became an early advocate of giving the right to vote to the emancipated slaves”.
This source is extremely important and inspiring! It’s very interesting to see how far one man can go in search of raising his voice – for himself, but also for so many others.
The novel “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” is one of the reasons why one both falls in love and is scared of history, because this source raises questions of injustice and equality, meanwhile giving us much information about a certain (and very important!) time period of our history.