frederick douglass

frederick douglass



Frederick Douglass is one of the great badasses of history, and if you don’t know him, you must fix this.

From Slave to Abolitionist (from video)

hopelessness condensed

10 min – urban slave – rented out.. then paid… so saved to buy first book – columbian oratore.. he memorized/practiced it.. famous speeches…

in baltimore he finds a community of free blacks.. and a sense of social identity..

12 min – underground railroad… strategic spots across territory where black people were hidden (not underground)….harriet tubman – front lines of underground railroad..

13 min – 1838 plans escape with anna murray

15 min – abolition movement – william lloyd garrison – wanted slavery to end immediately…

17 min – convention in nantucket.. douglass attends.. 1841 – garrison speaks.. douglass is electrified.. garrison hears slave is in crowd and asks him to stand.. douglass tells stories about slavery – for 2 hours.. audience hanging on every word…

22 min – 1847 douglass returns from england a free man (friends had purchased him)

23 min – speech on 4th of july 1852 – i must mourn

25 min – john brown – harpers ferry – hung for treason

27 min – civil war caused by slavery.. blacks were refused to fight.. casualties alarming.. 1862 – us army of platomac .. the union lost 12 000 soldiers

30 min – lincoln – 1862 – emancipation proclamation – 1863 – slaves would be freed…. doulgass becomes recruiting officer for colored volunteers.. meets w lincoln at the white house.. douglas came away – i felt big there… came away with respect for his intentions.. if not total respect for policies… so he went on convincing black men to put on uniform of the union..  – he who would be free must himself strike the blow – douglass 1863

34 min – douglass’ role in the victory of civil war … 1/10 of soldiers … liberty for all chains for none – douglas – 1864

35 min – end of war – seen as leader of black america.. he wanted more.. wanted govt role… was made leader of district of columbia

37 min – almost nervous breakdown when anna died…

38 min – 1884 marries helen pitts – white – brought reality closer to home that bigotry still existed..

39 min – minister to haiti…


wikipedia small

Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, 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 from Massachusetts and New York, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writings. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders’ arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Even many Northerners at the time found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been a slave.

Douglass wrote several autobiographies. He described his experiences as a slave in his 1845 autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, which became a bestseller, and was influential in promoting the cause of abolition, as was his second book, My Bondage and My Freedom (1855). After the Civil War, Douglass remained an active campaigner against slavery and wrote his last autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. First published in 1881 and revised in 1892, three years before his death, it covered events during and after the Civil War. Douglass also actively supported women’s suffrage, and held several public offices. Without his approval, Douglass became the first African American nominated for Vice President of the United States as the running mate and Vice Presidential nominee of Victoria Woodhull, on the Equal Rights Party ticket.

A firm believer in the equality of all peoples, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant, Douglass famously said, “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”


as i finish page – Clint tweets this as first in stream:


America has locked away so many black people it has warped our sense of reality.


“What to the Slave is 4th of July?”: James Earl Jones Reads Frederick Douglass’ Historic Speech

i am not included in the pale of this glorious anniversary

blessings in which you rejoice are not .. in common..

scorching irony

none of us.. if one of us.. ness


David Weinberger (@dweinberger) tweeted at 5:42 AM – 4 Jul 2017 :

Today, after you reread the Declaration, read Frederick Douglass’ searing 5th of July speech. @slate (


via Maria

How We Bridge the Real and the Ideal

This faculty of the imagination, Douglass argues, isn’t merely the source of aesthetic stimulation but the inner hand outstretched toward our highest ideals — the one which gives us, to borrow Susan Sontag’s penetrating phrase, “the model of self-transcendence.”

This power of the critical imagination, Douglass argues, becomes our mightiest means of bridging the real and the ideal, which is at the heart of all progress..

They see what ought to be by the reflection of what is, and endeavor to remove the contradiction.

The dead fact is nothing without the living expression.


imagining a nother way to live..



Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) tweeted at 11:03 AM – 4 Jul 2019 :
“What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? This Fourth of July is yours, not mine…There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.”
– Frederick Douglass (