Born into a life of bondage, Frederick Douglass secretly taught himself to read and write—a crime punishable by death; but as a result we possess one of the most eloquent indictments of slavery ever recorded. His gripping narrative takes us into the fields, cabins, and manors of the pre-Civil War plantations in the South and reveals the daily terrors he suffered as a slave. Written more than a century ago by this African-American who went on to become a famous orator, U.S. minister to Haiti, and a leader of his people, this timeless classic still speaks directly to our age. It is a record of savagery and inhumanity that goes far to explain why America still suffers from the great injustices of the past.
This edition includes an introduction by Peter J. Gomes and as afterword by Gregory Stephens. This is part of Hewitt’s Lightning Literature & Composition curriculum.