Book: My Bondage and My Freedom

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My Bondage and My Freedom

Frederick Douglass; Introduction and Notes by David W. Blight, the Class of 1954 Professor of American History and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition

(Yale University Press)

Born into slavery in 1818, Frederick Douglass escaped to freedom and became a passionate advocate for abolition and social change and the foremost spokesperson for the nation’s enslaved African-American population in the years preceding the Civil War. “My Bondage and My Freedom” is Douglass’s recounting of his life and a condemnation of a political and social system that would reduce people to property and keep an entire race in chains.



This classic is revisited with a new introduction and annotations by Douglass scholar David W. Blight. Blight situates the book within the politics of the 1850s and illuminates how “My Bondage and My Freedom” represents Douglass as a mature, confident, and powerful writer who crafted some of the most unforgettable metaphors of slavery and freedom anywhere in the English language.

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