Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Frederick Douglass

Last night was my monthly book club meeting. We discussed the classic autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave. It was the first time all of us read the book in its entirety. There was agreement that this is a memoir for all Americans to read.

One image that will remain with me is Douglass’ mother walking twelve miles each way to be with him in the evening when he was a small child. This was the only way she could see her son, since they were separated when he was an infant. I can't imagine working all day, walking twenty-four miles with little rest, and then resuming work the next morning. His mother died when he was just seven. He reports her death ended "her hardships and suffering," but he experienced her death, due to their separation, as he might experience the death of a stranger.

Douglass' autobiography is short and poignant. There is unbelievable cruelty, as can be imagined, but hope prevails above all.

1 Comments:

At 13.11.06 , Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Dear Stacy,
I promise you that this is one I am going to read. In 1890, near the end of his life, we was asked by a young man for advice on how to live life.

"Agitate", the old man replied, "Agitate. Agitate".

Peace!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

 

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