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"A fascinating collection of Frederick Douglass's controversial speeches in Brooklyn, N.Y., this volume compiles original source material that illustrates the relationship between the abolitionist and the then city of Brooklyn." --Publishers Weekly, Fall 2016 Announcements "A collection of rousing 19th-century speeches on freedom and humanity. The eloquent orator Frederick Douglass (c. 1818-1895) delivered eight impressive speeches in Brooklyn, New York, 'far from a bastion of abolitionist support,’ which, even as late as 1886, had only a small black population and included among its white citizens many who had been slave owners. Editor Hamm provides helpful introductions and notes and gives illuminating context and perspective by including their coverage in the 'virulently proslavery’ Brooklyn Eagle . . . Covering one speech, the Eagle defended its claim of black inferiority by asserting, 'the abject submission of a race who are content to be enslaved when there is an opportunity to be free, gives the best evidence that they are fulfilling the destiny which Providence marked out for them.’ Proof that Douglass' speeches, responding to the historical exigencies of his time, amply bear rereading today.” -- Kirkus Reviews "It is my hope that this book will introduce Frederick Douglass to a generation that could benefit from the example of his clarity of purpose and moral vision, as well as his relationship to the borough of Brooklyn." --Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams "Theodore Hamm simultaneously engages scholars of history, politics, and New York City in his well-edited and carefully crafted selection of Frederick Douglass's speeches in Brooklyn. Many of the questions raised by Douglass are still relevant today. What will be the fate of black people living in the US? Do places like Brooklyn serve as incubators of injustice--or promise a better future--for people of color? This is an insightful and invaluable book for anyone interested in race, ethnicity, cities, injustice, and the quest for equality." --Christina Greer, associate professor of political science at Fordham University and columnist, The Amsterdam News This volume compiles original source material that illustrates the complex relationship between Frederick Douglass and the city of Brooklyn. Most prominent are the speeches the abolitionist gave at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Plymouth Church, and other leading Brooklyn institutions. Whether discussing the politics of the Civil War or recounting his relationships with Abraham Lincoln and John Brown, Douglass’s towering voice sounds anything but dated. An introductory essay examines the intricate ties between Douglass and Brooklyn abolitionists, while brief chapter introductions and annotations fill in the historical context. Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was an abolitionist leader, spokesman for racial equality, and defender of women’s rights. He was born into slavery in Maryland and learned to read and write around age twelve, and it was through this that his ideological opposition to slavery began to take shape. He successfully escaped bondage in 1838. In 1845, he published his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, which became a best seller in the US and was translated into several languages. He went on to advise President Abraham Lincoln on the treatment of black soldiers during the Civil War and continued to work for equality until his death.
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