Essay: Historical Autobiography—Book Critique
For this assignment, you will be required to read The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass alongside the documents attached (“Twelve Years a Slave Excerpt,” “Father Henson’s Story of His Own Life,” “George Fitzhugh Document”). Also, please watch the film 12 Years a Slave (2013). In your essay, relate Douglass’s experiences specifically with with those of Henson and Northup. What do these primary sources tell us about life under slavery? How were enslaved people controlled? How did they manage to maintain their humanity? Does the film 12 Years a Slave ring true to the documents you’ve read? Finally, consider how do these experiences contradict George Fitzhugh’s assertions? Why do you think some slave owners felt compelled to write such defenses? Feel free to incorporate other information from Foner to support your points. You may also bring in other secondary sources as you see fit, though additional sources are not required.
Requirements—Your essay should be 4-6 pages long, double spaced. You may cite the sources parenthetically. The essay must use 12-point Times New Roman font, regular margins, and page numbers. You needn’t worry about a title page.
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