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Frederick Douglass: Freedom's Voice, 1818-1845
     

Frederick Douglass: Freedom's Voice, 1818-1845

by Gregory P. Lampe
 

This work in the MSU Press Rhetoric and Public Affairs Series chronicles Frederick Douglass's preparation for a career in oratory, his emergence as an abolitionist lecturer in 1841, and his development and activities as a public speaker and reformer from 1841 to 1845. Lampe's meticulous scholarship overturns much of the conventional wisdom about this phase of

Overview

This work in the MSU Press Rhetoric and Public Affairs Series chronicles Frederick Douglass's preparation for a career in oratory, his emergence as an abolitionist lecturer in 1841, and his development and activities as a public speaker and reformer from 1841 to 1845. Lampe's meticulous scholarship overturns much of the conventional wisdom about this phase of Douglass's life and career uncovering new information about his experiences as a slave and as a fugitive; it provokes a deeper and richer understanding of this renowned orator's emergence as an important voice in the crusade to end slavery. 
     Contrary to conventional wisdom, Douglass was well prepared to become a full-time lecturer for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in 1841. His emergence as an eloquent voice from slavery was not as miraculous as scholars have led us to believe. Lampe begins by tracing Douglass's life as slave in Maryland and as fugitive in New Bedford, showing that experiences gained at this time in his life contributed powerfully to his understanding of rhetoric and to his development as an orator. An examination of his daily oratorical activities from the time of his emergence in Nantucket in 1841 until his departure for England in 1845 dispels many conventional beliefs surrounding this period, especially the belief that Douglass was under the wing of William Lloyd Garrison. Lampe's research shows that Douglass was much more outspoken and independent than previously thought and that at times he was in conflict with white abolitionists. 
     Included in this work is a complete itinerary of Douglass's oratorical activities, correcting errors and omissions in previously published works, as well as two newly discovered complete speech texts, never before published.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
At his death in 1895, Frederick Douglass had been widely considered for more than 50 years the outstanding African American orator of his time. Lampe (communication and theater arts, Univ. of Wisconsin) has studied his early years, 1841-45, when Douglass was polishing his oratorical style and sharpening his powers of persuasion in advancing the cause of abolishing slavery in the South and ending racial prejudice in the North. Lampe disputes the conventional view (not contradicted by Douglass himself) that he came to his calling without preparation, an ingenious accident. In fact, even as a very young man, Douglass was already steeped in the slave oral tradition and served as a lay preacher in a black church. The writing is straightforward but burdened by excessive detail. Suitable for academic libraries with collections in oratory and African American studies.--Harry Frumerman, formerly with Hunter Coll., New York

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780870134852
Publisher:
Michigan State University Press
Publication date:
02/29/2000
Series:
Rhetoric and Public Affairs Series
Pages:
350
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.35(d)
Lexile:
1430L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Gregory P.Lampe is provost and vice chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges. He taught in the Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Rock County.

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