February 20th - The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass, Vol. 1
The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass, Volume 1 - Ossie Davis, 1966
It is difficult to even imagine a more self-made man than Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery, torn from his mother, exposed to every hardship and deprivation, Douglass taught himself to read not because it was encouraged but because the people that owned him specifically did not want him to learn. By befriending other little boys who could read - sometimes tricking them into revealing precious letters - he taught himself to read, and to write, in preparation for the day he could escape from bondage. Three years after escaping, he was welcomed to the abolitionist lecture circuit to describe his trials while enslaved, and was so eloquent that he had to actually write a book - exposing himself to capture - in order to convince people that he had ever actually been enslaved.
The reading by Davis is incredible. I've already mentioned how listening to recitations of these works makes me pay more attention to them, and I hung on every word - I'm trying to decide whether it's okay to listen to the second disc tomorrow. Douglass' story is amazing - I actually, uh, wrote a twitter thread about it - and a good salve for the political pains of recent days.