William Wells Brown's autobiography provides a clear-eyed and unvarnished account of his experiences as a slave up to his eventual escape to freedom. Narrator Peter Jay Fernandez matches the calm, steady tone Brown uses even as he suffers indignities and physical torment. This intelligent and effective approach serves to highlight Brown's courage and thoughtfulness even in the face of cruelty. Fernandez also infuses warmth and humor in Brown's tongue-in-cheek observations of the hypocrisies of Christian masters and expresses a brooding sincerity when Brown contemplates the terrible effects of slavery on its victims.
"Brother, you have often declared that you would not end your days in slavery. I see no possible way in which you can escape with us; and now, brother, you are on a steamboat where there is some chance for you to escape to a land of liberty. I beseech you not to let us hinder you. If we cannot get our liberty, we do not wish to be the means of keeping you from a land of freedom."