Frederick Douglass – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Information about frederick douglass

Frederick Douglass (c. 1817-1895) is a central figure in United States and African-American history.[1] born a slave, about 1817; [2] his mother was a black slave and his father was reputed to be his white master. Douglass escaped from slavery in 1838 and rose to become America’s foremost leader and spokesperson. abolitionist movement. he would eventually become a leading figure for the usa. uu. civil rights movement, and his legacy would be claimed by a wide range of groups, from liberals and integrationists to conservatives and nationalists, inside and outside of black America.

He wrote three autobiographies, each expanding on the details of his life. the first was the narrative of the life of frederick douglass, an american slave, written by himself (in 1845);[3] the second was my slavery and my freedom (in 1852a; fdab: 103-452);[4] and the third was the life and times of frederick douglass (in 1881; fdab: 453-1045). they are now prime examples of the American slave narrative. as well as autobiographical, they are also, as usual, explicit works of political and social criticism and moral suasion; they were directed at the hearts and minds of readers, and their main purpose was to attack and contribute to the abolition of slavery in the united states, and to advocate for the full inclusion of African-Americans in the nation.

Shortly after escaping from slavery, Douglass began serving as a spokesperson, giving numerous speeches about his life and experiences, for the William Lloyd Garrison Anti-Slavery Society of America. To spread the story of him and help the abolitionist cause, as well as to counter early accusations that someone as eloquent as he could not have been a slave, Douglass wrote and published his first autobiography, the narrative. The narrative brought Douglass fame in the United States and the United Kingdom, and provided the funds to buy his freedom.

After breaking up with Garrison, Douglass founded and edited his first newspaper, the North Star, and authored a considerable number of letters, editorials, and speeches. These writings have been compiled in Philip Foner’s multivolume, The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass (1950-1975, hereinafter FDLW),[5] and in John W. Blasingame and John R. multivolume by mckivigan, the frederick douglass papers (1979-, hereinafter nfl).

Douglass’s life, from slave to statesman, his writings and speeches, and his national and international work have inspired many lines of debate within the fields of American and African-American history, political science and theory, sociology and philosophy. . His legacy is claimed, despite his ties to ideas of cultural and racial assimilation, by both black nationalists and black liberals and black conservatives.

Douglass can be linked to the history of American philosophy, through his participation in national debates on the nature and future of the American republic and its institutions. In that sense, he is linked to contemporaries of his who had academic philosophical connections, notably Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), and by embracing his political and social legacy and writings of later African-American philosophers such as W.E.B. du bois (1868-1963) and alain locke (1884-1954; see harris 1989). Frederick Douglass: A Critical Reader, edited by Bill E. Lawson and Frank M. Kirkland (1999) is a valuable guide to the lines of research on Douglass and the debates he inspired within philosophy in the United States. In contemporary philosophy in the United States, Douglass’s work is usually framed within American philosophy, African-American philosophy, and moral, social, and political philosophy; In particular, debates in those areas center on his views on slavery and (later in his career at the dawn of Jim Crow segregation) racial exploitation and segregation, natural law, states United. constitution, violence and self-esteem in resistance against slavery, racial integration versus emigration or separation, cultural assimilation, racial fusion and women’s suffrage.

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