Frederick Douglass And Jeremiah's Legacy

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Preface and Introduction Jeremiah’s Legacy Summary: Shulman dedicates the preface and Jeremiah’s legacy to explain prophecy, its definition, and its use in American political culture. His central argument highlights the use of prophecy by individuals deemed to be American prophets, such as Frederick Douglass, Henry David Thoreau, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, and Toni Morrison. These prophets use prophetic political language to challenge the conditions under which white supremacy and authority was created and continues to exist in American culture. Further, one common thread between these individuals that Shulman details is that each posited prophecies that reject the standards of American history, specifically the disavowal of confronting racial domination and its history in the narrative of American exceptionalism and liberalism. Exceptionalism and liberalism ignores racial…show more content…
Douglass speaks of the tension in American liberty and freedom theorized by the American Founding Fathers and the institution of slavery. It is the duty of Americans to redefine the traditions of their identity and include “The part that has no part” or the ignored and silence masses of African descent slaves (Shulman 17). How do the motives behind Douglass’s prophesy contrast to that of Falwell’s prophecy? Is there room for both prophesies to have some validity? o Douglass’ speech is a critique of a disavowal of a history that is used by white Americans to create a false identity. Through their dependence on slavery for economic livelihood, white Americans positioned themselves as superior to the individuals who accounted for the posterity of the identity whites held so closely. Falwell condemns American progress and seek to return to Christian norms and standards that may negate some of Douglass’ criticism of American

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