Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass (c. February 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writings.

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A little learning indeed may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity to any people.

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

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

Man's greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done.

No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.

I recognize the Republican party as the sheet anchor of the colored man's political hopes and the ark of his safety.

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

If there is no struggle there is no progress.

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.

At a time like this scorching irony not convincing argument is needed.

A man's character always takes its hue more or less from the form and color of things about him.

Where justice is denied where poverty is enforced where ignorance prevails and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress rob and degrade them neither persons nor property will be safe.

It is not light that we need but fire, it is not the gentle shower but thunder. We need the storm the whirlwind and the earthquake.

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

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.

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

We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.

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

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

One and God make a majority.

When men sow the wind it is rational to expect that they will reap the whirlwind.

Without a struggle there can be no progress.

The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.

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.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.

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

A battle lost or won is easily described, understood and appreciated; but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it.

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

What to the Slave is the 4th of July.

Slaves are generally expected to sing as well as to work.

The soul that is within me no man can degrade.

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.

To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.

The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest truthful and virtuous.

People might not get all they work for in this world but they must certainly work for all they get.