Standing in line at the Lincoln Memorial, a book beckoned to me that I previously hadn't seen before. The face of Frederick Douglas grabbed my attention; a man that I've respected for many years, encountering him mainly through my study of Abraham Lincoln. On the spur of the moment, I snatched up a copy of "My Bondage and My Freedom", and within a few days, my admiration in Frederick Douglass was transformed from interest to awe.
Frederick Douglass orginially penned his book as a response to people's accusations that someone as articulate and composed as he couldn't possibly be a former slave. With that goal in mind, Douglass wrote his memoirs, in a straight forward, powerful way. In the book, he painfully and honestly documents the path his early life took; the memories of being owned, how slaves coped during these times, and how he managed to pull himself out of it all.
While Douglass' life in itself is amazing, (as he describes the amazing process he undertook to learn how to read), what amazed me even more are Douglass' discourses that he sprinkles through the book, discussing relevant issues during the time. In one instance, he addresses the concern about why slaves simply didn't run away from their oppressive situations. It's almost as if you can actually hear the people talking to Douglass and he responding to them.
This book does not only tell the tale of a truly amazing American, but gives us a unique insight to the times. This book should be required reading in every high school in this country.