New to Collection: The Life of Frederick Douglass Graphic Novel

New to the collection is a graphic novel biography, The Life of Frederick Douglass, written by David F. Walker with art by Damon Smyth. It tells the story of Douglass’s life through beautiful illustrations. He lived during the 19th century, was born into slavery in Maryland, learned to read even though it was forbidden to slaves, and ended up becoming one of America’s greatest writers. He worked to abolish slavery and believed in the equality of all. He also was one of the most photographed Americans of the 19th century, even more so than Abraham Lincoln! “Frederick Douglass was acutely aware of the fact that photographs could be used to help define his image in the public eye and, as a result, also influence how white people viewed blacks. In many pictures, his eyes are cast directly at the camera, an uncommon practice at the time, which resulted in a seemingly defiant expression” (Walker, p. 99). His photos were taken without him smiling because he didn’t want to portray “the racist caricature of a ‘happy slave’” (Wikipedia).

If you are not a fan of the graphic novel medium, a biography is a good way to try it out because the illustrations really bring the person’s story to life, which is helpful when learning about historical subjects. It’s not unlike how “Hamilton the Musical” resonated with people and presented a different way of re-telling history, so, too can a graphic novel achieve the same.

Frederick Douglass in MVCC’s collection:

Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom (video)

Moraine Valley Community College students will learn about the oldest known holiday to commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States. The session will focus on the historical significance and cultural traditions of the forgotten holiday. This discussion is part of the Black History Month Celebration.

Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom

The audio of this discussion is available below:

Monologues from African-American History

Hear their stories. Learn about prominent black historical figures followed by a discussion on the history, role and impact they had on society.
Featured figures include:
-Mary Eliza Mahoney
-Jean Baptiste du Sable
-Gwen Ifill
-Aretha Franklin
-Muhammad Ali
-Shirley Chisholm
-Thurgood Marshall
-Dr. Mae C Jamieson
-Alvin Ailey

Live Museum and Monologues Project

The audio of this discussion is available below: