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Frederick Douglass Name the Duality of His Nature Frederick Douglass was an emancipated slave who passed from one master to another until he finally found the satisfaction of being his own he went through almost as many names as masters His mothers family name traceable at least as far back as 1701 FD 5 was Bailey the name he bore until his flight to freedom in 1838 His father may or may not have been a white man named Anthony but Douglass never firmly validated or rejected this possibility During transit to New York where he became a freedman his name became Stanley and upon arrival he changed it again to Johnson In New Bedford where there were too many Johnsons he found it necessary to change it once more and his final choice was Douglass taken as suggested to him by a white friend and benefactor from a story by Sir Walter Scott although the character in that story bore only a single s in his name All throughout he clung to Frederick to preserve a sense of my identity Norton 1988 This succession of names is illustrative of the transformation undergone by one returning from the world of the dead which in a sense is what the move from oppression to liberty is Frederick Douglass not only underwent a transformation but being intelligent and endowed with the gift of Voice he brought back with him a sharp perspective on the blights of racism and slavery Dropped into America during the heat of reform as he was his appearance on the scene of debate upon his own self-emancipation was a valuable blessing for the abolitionists In their struggles so far there had been many skilled arguers but few who could so convincingly portray the evils of slavery an act which seemed to demand little short of firsthand experience but which also required a clear understanding of it Douglass had both and proved himself
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