It is entirely understandable that the obligatory, pervasive coverage of our Super Sunday letdown overshadowed an important announcement by Superintendent Mary Louise Francis at this past Sunday’s annual Douglass Readathon.
She publicly announced that, finally, Frederick Douglass’ first autobiography, his 1845 “Narrative of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself,” shall henceforth be mandatory reading and study for New Bedford’s public middle school and/or public high school students.
Douglass escaped from slavery in Maryland to freedom in New Bedford, where he resided and worked for several years. And New Bedford was where he became a lay AME preacher, honed his eventually legendary public speaking skills, and first developed an abolitionist consciousness. He went on to become America’s most famous 19th century human rights activist, one of the 19th century’s greatest orators and nonfiction authors, the 19th century’s most prominent and influential African-American, and one of that century’s most outstanding and exemplary people — period. read full story