By the Reflection of What Is

“…he “out-citizened” white citizens, at a time when most whites did not believe that blacks should be citizens.”

Longreads

John Stauffer and Zoe Trodd | Picturing Frederick Douglass: An Illustrated Biography of the Nineteenth Century’s Most Photographed American| Liveright| Nov. 2015 | 22 minutes (5,654 words)

The following excerpt appears courtesy of Liveright Publishing.

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Frederick Douglass was in love with photography. During the four years of civil war, he wrote more extensively on photography than any other American, even while recognizing that his audiences were “riveted” to the war and wanted a speech only on “this mighty struggle.” He frequented photographers’ studios and sat for his portrait whenever he could. As a result of this passion, he also became the most photographed American of the nineteenth century.

It may seem strange, if not implausible, to assert that a black man and former slave wrote more extensively on photography, and sat for his portrait more frequently, than any of his American peers. But he did…

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Debriefing

    The past is safe Because we have lived it We have survived It has chewed and re-chewed us And spat us out We no longer fear it We’re not in its hands anymore It is in our hands to do what we will with it To show it a kindness in remembering Or […]

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The Year in Accidents

      Toward the end of 2016, I chanced across articles in Penguin Random House Canada division’s Hazlitt magazine, filed under “The Year In…” I discovered very many brilliant writers, of diverse provenances, writing from Canada. That’s the kind of 2016 I’ve had: a Christopher Columbus year, a year of stumbling into precious things, […]

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