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Models of agency: Frederick Douglass and "the heroic slave"

Hamilton, Cynthia A. (2005) Models of agency: Frederick Douglass and "the heroic slave". Proceedings of the American antiquarian society, 114 (1). pp. 87-136. ISSN 0044-751X

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Abstract

In the novella "The Heroic Slave" Frederick Douglass explores African American heroism and various models of agency available to him for the depiction of liberation, liberators, and sentimental appeals for assistance. A vehicle for Douglass to describe his split with Garrison, it becomes his own declaration of independence and a means to expose the cultural politics of benevolence within antislavery culture. "The Heroic Slave" enabled Douglass to explore the personal politics of interracial cooperation within the antislavery movement and the cultural politics of agency within antislavery rhetoric.

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