Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summer Reading on Douglass

What better way to get young folks started on their collegiate journeys than by providing them with a book by our man Frederick Douglass? For the third summer in a row now, we've provided about 40 incoming, first-year students with Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. The plan for this summer reading program has been to empower the participants to strengthen their academic and intellectual capabilities and become engaged in a learning community with their future classmates before the start of the year.

I've been pleased, too, that the summer reading program allows me to connect with these young folks before meeting them face-to-face in class. It also gives us opportunities to think about this guy Douglass, a truly remarkable figure, and what he presents to us related to enslavement and resistance.

I began by sending the participants regular snail-mail correspondence with the Douglass books and some follow-up questions. They responded via email. We've exchanged a few correspondences. Eventually, we've move our discussion to a blog.

When I get permission from members of the group, I'll post some of their comments on Douglass here. Stay tuned.

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