A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Mythbusters

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

Lesson Plans by Bridget Baudinet

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass was written by Frederick Douglass himself and published in 1845. Over 250 years later, the narrative still remains a powerful work, both for the vivid window it provides on the practice of slavery in the American South and for its eloquent defense of human rights.




Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Mythbusters -abolitionist movement

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  • MYTH
  • Tra, la, la, la!
  • REALITY
  • Tell old Pharoah, let my people go!
  • Slaves' frequent singing means they are happy and content.
  • Captain Reynolds, sir.
  • Hoy there, who's your master?
  • Does he treat you well?
  • "The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears."
  • You complained you don't get enough to eat?! You ungrateful thing!
  • Most slaves don't mind slavery. They report that their masters are kind and living conditions are good.
  • Yes, sir.
  • "The slaveholders have been known to send in spies among their slaves, to ascertain their views and feelings in regard to their condition...[slaves] suppress the truth rather than take the consequences of telling it."
  • Too much free time is bad for us!
  • Naw, I think Sam's the weaker drinker.
  • I bet Fred here couldn't drink more than half a jug before he passed out cold, haha.
  • Slaves cannot handle freedom. They spend their few vacations in foolishness and dissipation.
  • Over the Christmas holidays, "the slaveholders not only like to see the slave drink of his own accord, but will adopt various plans to make him drunk. One plan is, to make bets on their slaves, as to who can drink the most whisky without getting drunk; and in this way they succeed in getting whole multitudes to drink to excess."
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