Frederick Douglass was confronted with the dilemma of representation in the complex social, cultural, and political milieu of the nineteenth-century Atlantic world. His Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself showed a generic and formal flexibility that testifies to his increasing personal status and narrative authority, as well as confirming the recalibration of his socio-political stance. Douglass's articulation of dialect spaces revealed his capacity to engage with and manipulate both dominant and subversive modes of contemporary representation and resistance. In his representation of Haiti, he counteracted negative representations of that country in the United States. Both the potential and the realities of African American influence in international and imperial contexts of global modernity come into focus in Douglass' work.
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