This master class will examine Frederick Douglass as the most important African American public figure and writer of the nineteenth century. Participants will read portions of Blight’s new biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. A primary theme will be Douglass’s use of words, his only real source of power. The class will also probe the complex relationship between his public and private lives.
David W. Blight teaches American history at Yale University and is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the US Civil War and its legacy. He is the author of many books, including Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, which won eight awards, among them the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize. His Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom will be published by Simon & Schuster in fall 2018.