Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

Mary F. Corey at the LARB:

In Prophet of Freedom, Blight allows us to experience both the exuberance and the difficulties of a life acted out on stages. We see Douglass, as a small boy, gathering damp pages from a discarded Bible out of the gutter so he could learn how to read. We are shown the young, proud orator being shunted into filthy, segregated train cars even as he traveled to address throngs of adoring fans. And we are at the Rochester train station to see his wife Anna rush to meet him with a bundle of freshly ironed shirts before returning to her job making shoes, or caring for their five children, while the abolitionist rock star continued on his way. We are with him near the end of his life when he climbed a rocky crag near the Acropolis and lingered there to read St. Paul’s famous “Address to the Athenians,” in which the Apostle declared all people to be the “offspring” of God and that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.”

more here.

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