Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Race

Frederick Douglass's Inspiration

Glenda Armand, a former MAHG student, has just come out with Love Twelve Miles Long, a gorgeously illustrated children's book about Frederick Douglass.  (Glenda wrote the text, Colin Bootman illustrated.)  We see young Frederick Bailey's mother explain to him how she manages to walk 12 miles to see him at night, after their separation.  She fills her son with love and hope.  Glenda explains her love of slave narratives at her website--it's family history, for one thing:

As a recent college grad, Glenda visited her grandparents in Louisiana.  While at their home, Glenda came across a Bible that had been printed in 1869. It had belonged to her great-great grandfather, Victor Jones, Sr., who was born a slave.  In one moment, one of the most tragic aspects of American history ceased being a chapter in a history book and became real, tangible, and personal. Victor Jones, Sr. died a free man in 1928. Later the Bible was given to Glenda and remains her most treasured possession.

After many years of teaching in the primary grades, Glenda decided to teach eighth grade.  In preparing to teach US history, Glenda read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. In those pages, Glenda met Harriet Bailey, the mother of Frederick Douglass. As the mother of two, Glenda related to Harriet's heartbreaking dilemma and could not get it out of her mind.  Glenda felt Harriet's guiding hand as she wrote Love Twelve Miles Long.

Categories > Race

Discussions - 2 Comments

Dear Ms. Armand,

Congratulations on your beautiful book on FD! We haven't met, but I teach courses (including a Great Texts course on FD's autobiographies) in the MAHG program at Ashland U., where I believe you studied. Peter Schramm sent me the link to your book. Looks like it should do very well. Let's hope you succeed in spreading the FD gospel to lots and lots of kids (and their parents).

Yours sincerely, Pete Myers (professor of political science, U. of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and author of Frederick Douglass: Race and the Rebirth of American Liberalism)

Professor Myers,
How nice to have this little story appreciated by those in higher education! I love introducing young people to historic figures in a way that makes them real to the children. Then when they encounter these great men and women again later on (but, I hope, before they get to your level) they will have a sense of knowing them already, and will be eager to learn more. Thanks again. Ken and Peter have been very kind .
It is also gratifying to hear from the author of a "grown up" book on FD!
Thanks very much,
Glenda

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