Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, February 14, 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an American abolitionist, women’s suffragist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer. Called “The Sage of Anacostia” and “The Lion of Anacostia”, Douglass is one of the most prominent figures in African-American history and United States history. In 1872, Douglass became the very first African-American nominated as a Vice Presidential candidate in the U.S., running on the Equal Rights Party ticket with Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the United States.

He was a firm believer in the equality of all people, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant. He was fond of saying, “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”


A gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me.

America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future.

Fugitive slaves were rare then, and as a fugitive slave lecturer, I had the advantage of being the first one out.

I am a Republican, a black, dyed in the wool Republican, and I never intend to belong to any other party than the party of freedom and progress.

I could, as a free man, look across the bay toward the Eastern Shore where I was born a slave.

I didn’t know I was a slave until I found out I couldn’t do the things I wanted.

I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.

The white man’s happiness cannot be purchased by the black man’s misery.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

What to the Slave is the 4th of July.

Frederick Douglass’ home in Washington, D.C. is an historic site, and well worth visiting if you’re ever in D.C.


Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass (Author)

Frederick Douglass : Autobiographies : Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave / My Bondage and My Freedom / Life and Times of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass (Author), Henry Louis Gates (Editor)

Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln by John Stauffer (Author)

Biography – Frederick Douglass (A&E DVD Archives)

A Picture Book of Frederick Douglass (Picture Book Biography) (Paperback)
by David A. Adler (Author), Samuel Byrd (Illustrator)

Frederick Douglass: Selected Speeches and Writings (The Library of Black America series) by Frederick Douglass (Author), Philip S. Foner (Editor), Yuval Taylor (Editor)

The Spirit of Frederick Douglass (2008)-DVD

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