by Frederick Douglass
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Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage
- Olaudah Equiano
Olaudah Equiano (1745-1797), known by people as Gustavus Vassa, was a freed slave turned prominent African man in London. Equiano became an abolitionist and began to record his life story after being freed. This text is an excerpt from Equiano’s autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, in which Equiano tells the tale of his brutal voyage across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.Pair “Olaudah Equiano Recalls the Middle Passage” with this excerpt from The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass to teach students about slavery through first person accounts.
A Child Of Slavery Who Taught A Generation
- Karen Grigsby Bates
This article from National Public Radio reports on the life and success of Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, an American author, educator, prominent scholar, and one of the first black women to earn a doctoral degree in United States history.Pair “Excerpt from The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass” with “A Child of Slavery who Taught a Generation” and ask students to discuss the importance of education, particularly in the lives of African-Americans.
Letter from Frederick Douglass to Harriet Tubman
- Frederick Douglass
In this “Letter from Frederick Douglass to Harriet Tubman,” Douglass praises Tubman for her work in the abolitionist movement as a biography about her life is being prepared.Pair “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas: Excerpt from Chapter 1” with “Letter from Frederick Douglass to Harriet Tubman” to further explore Douglass’s contributions to abolishing slavery. How did Douglass’s public means of criticizing slavery help the movement?
Frederick Douglass: A Biography
- National Park Service
This biography of Frederick Douglass provides an overview of his life and work as an abolitionist.Pair “Frederick Douglass: A Biography” with “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpt from Chapter 1” to give students an understanding of how Douglass’ writing style was effective. He is described as a powerful writer and speaker in this biography; ask students to precisely name what makes his descriptions of the abuses of slavery powerful.
Margaret Garner: Defying the Fugitive Slave Act
- Levi Coffin
In “Margaret Garner: Defying the Fugitive Slave Act,” abolitionist Levi Coffin recounts the story of Garner, a fugitive slave who killed her children to keep them from returning to slavery.Pair “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpt from Chapter 1” with “Margaret Garner: Defying the Fugitive Slave Act” and ask students to discuss the experiences of slaves. What forms of abuse does Douglass identify in his text? How could these experiences have contributed to the fear that drove Garner to kill her children and attempt to kill herself?