Jacke takes a look at adult literacy and continuing education, anti-literacy laws in nineteenth-century America, and two famous passages from the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845), in which the young slave manages to overcome obstacles and teach himself to read and write.
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was born into the anonymity of slavery and died as the most famous African American of the nineteenth century. After a harrowing escape to freedom in 1838, he devoted the rest of his life to issues of justice and equality, applying his talents as an orator, journalist, autobiographer, fiction writer, publisher, government appointee, advocate, and intellectual to help transform a country from its origins as a slaveholding nation, to one ravaged by Civil War, to a collection of former enemies trying to find reconciliation, forgiveness, and a path to a brighter future.
Jacke talks to Amyra León, author of the new book Concrete Kids, about her background, her artistic projects, and how influences like James Baldwin, Frida Kahlo, and Frederick Douglass helped make her the person she is today.
Amyra León is an author, musician, playwright, and activist. Her work transcends genre and medium, and focuses on Black liberation, politics, and communal healing. She believes that the art of listening and honest conversation are the primary tools for lasting change. Her aim is to empower communities to believe in the significance of their individual stories.