Top positive review
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for they allow us to gain a better understanding of how far our society has come
on July 12, 2016
This autobiography was assigned to me when I was a junior in high school. Three years later, as a sophomore in college, I was asked to read the book again for my class on Black Thought and Literature. I wish that I had taken the time to slow down and analyze Frederick Douglass' narrative from a literal, analytical, and figurative perspective. Had I done that the first time around—as opposed to treating the book as another required reading that I needed to speed-read through—I believe that my understanding would have been more in-depth and meaningful. The emotion and conviction with which the author writes is not only poetic and moving, but captivating as well. The imagery, combined with Douglass' views on religion's role in the enslavement of black bodies, masterfully paints a story that (in combination with other narratives) has, unfortunately, been lost throughout time. In fact, many Black writers during this period refused to publish their experiences for fear that they will be caught and returned to slavery. In other cases, some writers used pen names to add some anonymity to their experiences. Nevertheless, such works should be cherished and valued; for they allow us to gain a better understanding of how far our society has come, and how much more needs to be done to ensure a future where everyone is equal (in the truest sense of the word).