Saturday, December 27, 2014

Frederick Douglass explained the truth about social change

Frederick Douglass's "West India Emancipation" speech of 1857 is possibly the most incisive description of the true mechanism of social change ever written.

The speech is brilliant like only works resulting from liberation praxis can be.


Unknown said...

When my son was about 11, this was a literary work that I assigned to him (my studends in freshmen comp had the same assignment). It was one of the few readings he readily seemed to relate to---personally---without voicing any complaint about its excessive difficulty as a home school assingnment.

Now I want to re read it. Thanks.

Unknown said...

And now I see its power, from a perspective that...let's just say, I needed to hear this message today. The tragic mother, for instance, facd only with impossible double binds, acts with coutage knowing there is no magical better option.

Nothing like the joke about going into a hardware store to buy a loaf of bread, or choosing an option that is really no option. Rather more like accepting what is real. Even when all "good" options are not available, an action can be chosen with sadness, yet with no
self recrimination. This resonates with me, right now.

When alone, or in the face of domination, I have been known to let the feellings of despair and social injustice return me to bongage, again. This speech is a powerful source of comfort and courage to one lonely soul tonight.