I have been teaching Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave in my United States history survey course for fifteen years. It is the most teachable primary source I have ever encountered. Nearly every time I teach this text I tell my students that it would make a great movie. There are so many moving scenes: the shooting of Denby by Mr. Gore, Frederick’s fight with Mr. Covey, the attempt by Sophia Auld to teach young Frederick to read, etc…
This is a slave story. This is an American history. (It works very well when read in the same semester as Ben Franklin’s Autobiography). This is a human story. And now, if Henry Louis Gates’s Twitter feed is correct (or Elizabeth Alexander’s retweet is correct), it may finally be coming to the big screen. It looks like the movie will be based on David Blight‘s forthcoming biography of Douglass. Stay tuned.
@ProfessorEA Peter Almond, Rudy Langlais, and I are producing “Frederick Douglass” at Sony, based on David Blight’s forthcoming biography!
— Henry Louis Gates Jr (@HenryLouisGates) January 11, 2015
Tom Van Dyke says
Awesome! Douglass is perhaps the most underrated Great American, both as a historical figure and as an intellectual.
BTW, I clicked “RETWEET” on Skip Gates' announcement and it worked fine.