Frederick Douglass Slave Narrative

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“You have seen how a man became a slave; you shall see how a slave becomes a man” (Douglass). Slave narratives are non-fiction, written accounts of a slave’s personal experiences, often with the goal of winning Northern sympathy in an effort to end slavery. In a way, many authors of these documents can be considered sycophants, as authors commonly express their vitriol in an effort to gain support. As historical artifacts, these slave narratives elucidate the progression of white supremacy in the antebellum American South throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. More importantly, a slave narrative reveals its author’s invaluable first-hand perspective of slave life primarily in the American South. Narratives by slaves both before and after the Civil War are essential to the study of American history and literature in the eighteenth through twentieth centuries. …show more content…
Frederick Douglass’ slave narrative is one of an uncountable number that played a major role in opening a dialogue between blacks and whites about slavery and the true meaning of freedom. Later, in the …show more content…
Not to be forgotten, artists like Hughes and Dunbar from the Harlem Renaissance continued to advocate for Douglass’ goal. Slave and ex-slave narratives are crucial to the complex study of American American history and literature. When reactionary white Southern writers of the 1880s and 1890s uncork the myths of slavery and the plantations to a nostalgic white Northern readership, slave narratives became one of the vital resources that readers in the late nineteenth century could study to get a reliable, first-hand experience of what slavery had actually been

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