Primary Source Material

Frederick Douglass recognized the power of his image as a portrayal of a free, dignified man fighting for justice and equality during the 19th-century era of enslavement in America.


Media literacy enables us to control how media might influence us and how the media we create might impact others. In this activity, you will explore the role that media plays in shaping the way identities are formed and perceived in society today and historically in the life and times of Frederick Douglass. You will discover how understanding identity is important for understanding yourself and the world around you.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:
  • Recognize how media represents different identities.
  • Describe how media influences how people perceive themselves and others.
  • Analyze issues of identity in historical and contemporary media.