When the name “Frederick Douglass” is uttered, often times, people think of the famous ex- social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. Rarely, though, do people think of Douglass as a fiction writer.
Frederick Douglass serves as an important figure in African American and American history. His contributions to American Literature have provided future generations of scholars an opportunity to study his philosophies about race, equality, and politics in America during the nineteenth century. Although Douglass is one of our most famous ex-slaves primarily because of his autobiography, few people or at least not enough of us recognize the significance of his fictional work The Heroic Slave.
Douglass’s only work of fiction The Heroic Slave (apart of the 100 Novels Collection) follows the character Madison Washington in his pursuits of emancipation from slavery. With his protagonist Madison Washington, Douglass presents his predominantly white readers with an expressive, heroic, and intelligent black man. Douglass draws on discourses from the U.S. Constitution and ideals of the founding fathers in an attempt to demonstrate how hypocritical the American public was in supporting slavery and suppressing the black race.
Below, I have compiled a list of the body of writing by Frederick Douglass:
“The Heroic Slave” (1853)
My Bondage and My Freedom (1855)
Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881, revised 1892)
“The Church and Prejudice”
“Speech at National Hall, Philadelphia July 6, 1863 for the Promotion of Colored Enlistments”
“What to a slave is the 4th of July?”