In this presentation, Professor Frederick Knight (Morehouse College) uses generation as a category of analysis to interpret early African-American history. He shows how age was tied to labor and production in the early African-American experience; how elders shaped early African-American culture; how tensions, conflicts, and bridges arose between different generations of African-Americans; and how people used age to advance particular interests. Drawing on written, visual, and audio materials from a wide range of sources, Professor Knight argues that age mattered to black people in early America.
Frederick (Bailey) Douglass was raised, encouraged and mentored by elders. Throughout his public and private life he recognized these elders within his family and his community.