Blog 3

The first document I chose was created and written by Frederick Douglass. This document states what is wrong about the slavery happening in America. Frederick Douglass was a well known man and an impactful abolitionist, he wrote this speech for the anti-slavery followers. Him and the society all saw how horrible slavery was and wanted to put an end to it. He states at the end, “…they were men, not three-fifths men,” to me, this statement was really impactful because people saw people as less than a human. Given that Frederick hand-wrote this speech gave a more in-depth and meaningful sense when reading it. The source of this document is from the Liberty of Congress through the Frederick Douglass papers.

A question that had raised was how impactful was Frederick Douglass? I decided to do some research and I found that he became a leader in the abolitionists movement. He wanted to end the practice of slavery before and during the civil war, he was a very impactful figure and a great leader.

The Image I chose was titled the Capoeira Scene, painted by Augustus Earle. The painting was created between 1820-1824 and is a form of water color on paper. My first glance of this painting it seemed as if two men were fighting and a police officer is approaching from behind. There is also a man sitting down that looks as if he is playing the drum, along with a woman who appears to be holding a baby. A lot of questions raised when I was viewing this, one of them was if they were actually fighting? What is Capoeira? I did some research and I found the Capoeira was a form of martial arts that connected music, self-defense, and dance. The art came about to slaves that used this technique to hide the fact they were practicing fighting moves. After finding this out the image made sense, two men were practicing their fighting moves that was motivated by the man playing the drum and the women was a watching, the police man should only see the men dancing.

One thought on “Blog 3

  1. These are excellent finds! I agree that Douglass’ writings are very powerful and highlight is influential position as not only a leading abolitionist, but as someone who was Black and worked to inspire others to pursue and protect civil rights in the postwar era. There are some historical comparisons in Douglass’ approach compared to other abolitionist leaders, which are interesting for further reading.

    When looking at your visual source, I also thought that the two men appeared to be fighting. I really appreciate the additional research you put into this source and actually figuring out what is being depicted in this scene. It makes so much more sense with that additional info! As for the police/soldier in the background, I wonder if he is misinterpreting the scene for actual fighting. Additionally, I think this is a powerful visual representation of continued cultural practices that persisted in enslaved communities. Of course, not all enslaved people shared the same cultures/customs, but it did help to form kin-like networks and shape a sense of community by practicing and blending cultural practices.

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