Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass: An American Slave by Frederick Douglass from Coterie Classics
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“I have observed this in my experience of slavery, - that whenever my condition was improved, instead of its increasing my contentment, it only increased my desire to be free, and set me to thinking of plans to gain my freedom. I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason. He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery; he must be made to feel that slavery is right; and he can be brought to that only when he ceased to be a man.” ― Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass’ first-person account of his journey from slave to educated and free transformed American thought and is an essential piece of reading from American history.