Studium anglistiky na KAA UPOL

Douglass, Frederick. (ca 1817 - 1895).

L i f e

- son of a black slave, Harriet Bailey, and an unknown white father

- escaped on the 2nd try (1838) and adopted the name Douglass (from W. Scott’s hero in The Lady of the Lake)

- feared of being re-captured, spent several years in England and Ireland, and returned only after being purchased freedom by his English friends

- an eloquent speaker, became an agent and lecturer of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, organised the regiments of Afro-Americans in the Civil War, and continued to urge civil rights for Afro-Americans during Reconstruction

- favoured the use of political methods x W. L. Garrison

W o r k

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845):

< B. Franklin’s Autobiography = moral tale of a representative American <=> Douglass’s Narrative = a moral tale of a representative Afro-American trying to reach white audience

- language: spoken English

- content: an exposition of the institution of slavery on the grounds of:

(a) defying the spirit of Christianity

(b) defying humanity

(c) defying human rights ensured by the “Declaration of Independence”

- an ability to analyse, expose, and exploit the system

My Bondage and My Freedom and Life and Times of Frederick Douglass:

- later versions

- cover his period of freedom as well


"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe".

From Frederick Douglass's Speech (1886).


(Photo: George K. Warren. 1879. Source: Wikimedia Commons).

  • Author

    Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. Aka Frederick Douglass. (ca 1817 - 1895). African-American.
  • Work

    Political and social activist. Abolitionist. Called the Afro-American Benjamin Franklin.
  • Genres

    Abolitionist writing. Memoir.


Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.

Bercovitch, Sacvan, ed. The Cambridge History of American  Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Cunliffe, Marcus. The Literature of the United States. London: Penguin, 1991.

Lauter, Paul, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Lexington: D. C. Heath, 1994.

McQuade, Donald, gen.ed. The Harper American Literature. New York: Harper & Collins, 1996.

Ruland, Richard, Malcolm Bradbury. Od  puritanismu k postmodernismu. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1997.

Vančura, Zdeněk, ed. Slovník spisovatelů: Spojené státy americké. Praha: Odeon, 1979.


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