Publisher description for Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave / written by himself ; with an introduction and notes by Robert O'Meally.

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In the most seminal slave narrative ever written, Frederick Douglass writes, “From my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom.” Reading this narrative is to witness the birth of new literary presence, one that counts W. E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, Angela Davis, and Toni Morrison among its progeny.

Robert G. O’Meally is Zora Neale Hurston Professor of Literature at Columbia University
and the Director of Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies.

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