30" x 40" (76 x 101.5 cm) Mixed media and barbed wire on plexiglass panel, birch support, custom metal frame.
Text: "The appalling darkness faded away and I was the master of the subject." Frederick Douglass quote from his 1845 autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845). Douglass was born into slavery in 1818 and escaped at the age 20 after learning to read and realizing that not all men are slaves ("the appalling darkenss faded away..."). He was thus empowered to fight for his own freedom to become an abolitionist, writer and orator, and the most important black American leader of the nineteenth century. He was assigned to Abraham Lincoln's cabinet and was instrumental in the development of the Emancipation Proclamation and Lincoln's call to Black men to join Union troops in the American Civil War. Douglass educated and freed himself from the tortures of slavery to become a nationally respected leader and advisor to President Lincoln.