Ossie Davis, Autobiography of Frederick Douglass, Vol. 1

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

"This is the partial autobiography of one of the greatest figures in American history, a man born a slave in Maryland in 1817, who escaped from slavery twenty-one years later, joined the ranks of the Abolitionists, and devoted a long and fruitful life to the winning of freedom for all Negroes." So begins The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass, Vol. 1, the spoken word album that details the life of the famed "orator, editor, political figure, and man of international renown."

At the time of its release in 1966, there were few actors better equipped to tackle the narration than Ossie Davis. His stage and movie career were taking off and his Civil Rights record was unimpeachable — Davis was the Master of Ceremonies at the historic March on Washington in 1963, which featured Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Davis delivers, lending his dignified, yet impassioned tone to the text, bringing Douglass 'extraordinary career to life.