America the Story of Us: Frederick Douglass - History
PICTURES AND PROGRESS
This thesis examines Frederick Douglass' artistic interventions embedded in his lecture "Pictures and Progress. Closely reading Douglass' theory of "thought-pictures," I illustrate how the photographic landscape engages Blackness as an avenue of ontological transformation. To further explore the gestures of Douglass' philosophic insights, I look towards theorist bell hooks and contemporary photographer Carrie Mae Weems to elucidate the existential and ethical possibilities of photographic seeing and space. By critically engaging Douglass' theoretical lens through hooks and Weems, I suggest that Black photography offers profound orientations of being, visualizing structures of an existence more expansive than notions of universal humanity and offering a radical ethic of seeing. Introduction P. Conclusion P. Bibliography P.