View the archive of my 90-minute class and discover the Five Things I’ve Learned about the meaning and value of freedom by studying the life and writing of Frederick Douglass.
My name is Nicholas Buccola and I am honored to invite you to join me for a class, Five Things I’ve Learned about Freedom, from Frederick Douglass.
As you may know, Douglass was born into slavery. From his earliest years, he recognized the wrongness of life without freedom and devoted himself to escaping from its terrors. After he was able to do so at the age of twenty, he devoted most of his next six decades to agitating on behalf of the freedom of all people. Douglass is primarily remembered, of course, as an abolitionist, but the abolition of slavery was but one of many causes to which he was committed. He also fought on behalf of women’s rights, the rights of immigrants, and the rights of religious minorities. He once said that his understanding of freedom contained within it “an encyclopedia of argument” with “manifold applications.”
I have spent a good part of the last two decades studying Douglass. What began as an essay I wrote for a graduate school seminar grew into my doctoral dissertation on Douglass, and then a first book about him. I have also served as the editor of a collection of his writings and speeches. Indeed, as I write this, I am gearing up for yet another trip across the country to share what I’ve learned about Douglass with several audiences. For about twenty years, I’ve thought about Douglass just about every day and I am excited share some of what I have learned with you.
In this 90-minute class, I’ll share all I’ve learned about the ways in which Douglass’s life and work can help us today to gain a deeper understanding of what he can teach us about freedom. Among other things, we will consider what Douglass:
· Can teach us about the ways in which our freedom depends on something within each of us
· Can teach us about the ways in which our freedom depends on our connections to other people
· Can teach us about the relationship between freedom and equality
· Meant when he said each of us had the freedom to engage in “self-making”
· Can teach us about the relationship between fairness and freedom
I hope you join me on a quest to discover some of the wisdom that Frederick Douglass has to offer. I believe that he is a quintessential American. His life and work have so much to teach us.
– Nick Buccola