The Intersubjective Matrix of the Slavocracy: Experiencing the World of Frederick Douglass

  • Danjuma G. Gibson
Part of the Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice book series (BRWT)


This chapter characterizes the psychosocial environment of the slavocracy. Far more than a historical account of the context, this chapter intentionally seeks to draw the reader into the world of fear, horror, trauma, paranoia, and the grotesque—a world which in many ways was normative for Frederick Douglass (but foreign to his humanity). Unless the reader is able to empathically imagine the range of human emotion and experience that was normative for Douglass, the psychodynamic question of the etiology of Douglass’ selfhood cannot be adequately investigated. In order to address the primary question of “where did Douglass come from,” we must understand his location and imaginatively feel the context that he experienced. Affect or emotion, embodiment, and cognition, engaged collectively, are at the heart of any substantive qualitative investigation.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danjuma G. Gibson
    • 1
  1. 1.Calvin Theological SeminaryGrand RapidsUSA

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