Recommended Works on Frederick Douglass
In my last post, I mentioned that there is a mini-scholarly renaissance in studies on Frederick Douglass. Here are some of the better studies.
First, one needs to be familiar with the primary sources. Douglass wrote 3 autobiographical works: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845); My Bondage and My Freedom (1855); The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881). All 3 have been collected together as Frederick Douglass: Autobiographies, ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Library of America, 1994). Many of Douglass’ articles from The Liberator and from The North Star have been collected as Collected Articles of Frederick Douglass–A Slave (CreateSpace, 2010). Another excellent collection is Frederick Douglass: Selected Speeches and Writings, ed. Philip S. Foner (1910-1994), abrided and adapted by Yuval Taylor (Lawrence Hill, 2000). Two other excellent collections are The Oxford Frederick Douglass Reader, ed. William L. Andrews (Oxford University Press, 1996) and Frederick Douglass: A Critical Reader (Blackwell Critical Readers), ed. Bill Lawson and Frank Kirkland (Wiley-Blackwell, 1999).
Among the many secondary sources on Douglass’ thought, I especially recommend the following:
Reginald F. Davis, Frederick Douglass: Precursor to Liberation Theology (Mercer University Press, 2005).
Scott C. Williamson, The Narrative Life: The Moral and Religious Thought of Frederick Douglass (Mercer University Press, 2002).
John Stauffer, Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln (Twelve, 2008).
James Oakes, The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Anti-Slavery Politics (Norton, 2008).
Maria Diedrich, Love Across Color Lines: Ottilie Assing and Frederick Douglass (Hill and Wang, 2000).
William B. Rogers, We are All Together Now: Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and the Prophetic Tradition (Routledge, 1995).
I’d also recommend Per Caritatem, the blog of theologian and philosopher Cynthia R. Nielsen, one of the few white theologians or philosophers who regularly interacts seriously with African-American scholars (and other non-white scholars). Her work on Douglass is on a par with her excellent work on St. Augustine of Hippo.
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