por National Park Service
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We Wear the Mask
- Paul Laurence Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) was an influential African-American poet during the early twentieth century. He was the son of freed slaves and was a friend of Frederick Douglass. In “We Wear the Mask” (1896), Dunbar introduces the idea of hiding behind a metaphorical mask.Pair “Frederick Douglass: A Biography” with “We Wear the Mask” and ask students to discuss when Douglass might have worn “the mask” in his life, and to what extent this could have contributed to his success.
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: Excerpt from Chapter 1
- Frederick Douglass
In this excerpt from Frederick Douglass' autobiography, Douglass describes the horrifying abuse of Aunt Hester by the slave master.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.
From Africa to America
- Eric Arnesen
In the informational text “From Africa to America,” Eric Arnesen discusses the transportation of Africans to America to work as slaves.Pair “Frederick Douglass: A Biography” with “From Africa to America” to provide students with information about a former slave who fought to end slavery. Ask students to discuss how long slavery lasted, particularly in America. How does the biography describe Douglass’ experiences as a slave? How did he help end slavery?