Frederick Douglass Quotes & Wallpapers

Frederick Douglass
Total Quotes: 257


Everybody has asked the question . . . 'What shall we do with the Negro?' I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! Frederick Douglass

To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Frederick Douglass

It was unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read. Frederick Douglass

A man, at times, gets something for nothing, but it will, in his hands, amount to nothing. Frederick Douglass

I have observed this in my experience of slavery, that whenever my condition was improved, instead of increasing my contentment; it only increased my desire to be free, and set me thinking of plans to gain my freedom. Frederick Douglass

Without Struggle There Is No Success Frederick Douglass

I do not think much of the good luck theory of self-made men. It is worth but little attention and has no practical value. Frederick Douglass

To make a contented slave it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken the moral and mental vision and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason. Frederick Douglass

Despite of it all, the Negro remains... cool, strong, imperturbable, and cheerful. Frederick Douglass

Who would be free themselves must strike the blow. Better even to die free than to live slaves. Frederick Douglass

Shields Green was not one to shrink from hardships or dangers. He was a man of few words, and his speech was singularly broken; but his courage and self-respect made him quite a dignified character. Frederick Douglass

Men are whipped oftenest who are whipped easiest. Frederick Douglass

In one point of view, we, the abolitionists and colored people, should meet [the Dred Scott] decision, unlooked for and monstrous as it appears, in a cheerful spirit. This very attempt to blot out forever the hopes of an enslaved people may be one necessary link in the chain of events preparatory to the downfall and complete overthrow of the whole slave system. Frederick Douglass

This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. Frederick Douglass

Your national greatness, swelling vanity; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. Frederick Douglass

A man without force, is without the essential dignity of humanity. Human nature is so constituted, that it cannot honor a helpless man, although it can pity him. Frederick Douglass

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

I expose slavery in this country, because to expose it is to kill it. Slavery is one of those monsters of darkness to whom the light of truth is death. Frederick Douglass

A great man, tender of heart, strong of nerve, boundless patience and broadest sympathy, with no motive apart from his country. Frederick Douglass

What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: A day that reveals to him, more than all other days of the year, the gross injustices and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham. Frederick Douglass

Oppression makes a wise man mad. Frederick Douglass

If there's no struggle, there's no progress. Frederick Douglass

The more men you make free, the more freedom is strengthened, and the more men you give an interest in the welfare and safety of the State, the greater is the security of the State. Frederick Douglass

For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced. Frederick Douglass

Right is of no sex, truth is of no color, Frederick Douglass

They cannot degrade Frederick Douglass. The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are inflicting it upon me... Frederick Douglass

From my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom. This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise. Frederick Douglass

Education means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light by which men can only be made free. Frederick Douglass

Abolition of slavery had been the deepest desire and the great labor of my life Frederick Douglass

One by one I have seen obstacles removed, errors corrected, prejudices softened, proscriptions relinquished, and my people advancing in all the elements that go to make up the sum of the general welfare. And I remember that God reigns in eternity, and that whatever delays, whatever disappointments and discouragements may come, truth, justice, liberty and humanity will ultimately prevail. Frederick Douglass

Heaven's blessing must attend all, and freedom must soon be given to the pining millions under a ruthless bondage. Frederick Douglass

Freedom now appeared, to disappear no more forever...I saw nothing without seeing it, I heard nothing without hearing it, and felt nothing without feeling it. It looked from every star, it smiled in every calm, breathed in every wind, and moved in every storm. Frederick Douglass

Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Frederick Douglass

A slave is someone who sits down, and waits for someone to free them. Frederick Douglass

Knowledge unfits a child to be a slave. Frederick Douglass

Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get. Frederick Douglass

The man who is right is a majority. He who has God and conscience on his side, has a majority against the universe. Though he does not represent the present state, he represents the future state. If he does not represent what we are, he represents what we ought to be. Frederick Douglass

Going to live at Baltimore laid the foundation, and opened the gateway, to all my subsequent prosperity. Frederick Douglass

Whenever my condition was improved, instead of its increasing my contentment, it only increased my desire to be free, and set me to thinking of plans to gain my freedom. Frederick Douglass

We are one, our cause is one, and we must help each other; if we are to succeed. Frederick Douglass

I have often sung to drown my sorrow, but seldom to express my happiness. Crying for joy, and singing for joy, were alike uncommon to me while in the jaws of slavery. The singing of a man cast away upon a desolate island might be as appropriately considered as evidence of contentment and happiness, as the singing of a slave; the songs of the one and of the other are prompted by the same emotion. Frederick Douglass

Without a struggle, there can be no progress. Frederick Douglass

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

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

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

The destiny of the colored American ... is the destiny of America. Frederick Douglass

I know no class of my fellowmen, however just, enlightened, and humane, which can be wisely and safely trusted absolutely with the liberties of any other class. Frederick Douglass

You are not judged by the height you have risen, but from the depth you have climbed. Frederick Douglass

If I have advocated the cause of the Negro, it is not because I am a Negro, but because I am a man. Frederick Douglass

Interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the constitution is a Glorious Liberty Document! Frederick Douglass

The Federal Government was never, in its essence, anything but an anti-slavery government. Frederick Douglass

The thought of only being a creature of the present and the past was troubling. I longed for a future too, with hope in it. The desire to be free, awakened my determination to act, to think, and to SPEAK. Frederick Douglass

Our community belongs to us and whether it is mean or majestic, whether arrayed in glory or covered in shame, we cannot but share its character and destiny. Frederick Douglass

Though conscious of the difficulty of learning without a teacher, I set out with high hope, and a fixed purpose, at whatever cost of trouble, to learn how to read. Frederick Douglass

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free. Frederick Douglass

I glory in conflict that I may hereafter exult in victory. Frederick Douglass

You have to take power. No one gives it. Frederick Douglass

Viewing the man from the genuine abolitionist ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed cold, tardy, weak and unequal to the task. But, viewing him from the sentiments of his people, which as a statesman he was bound to respect, then his actions were swift, bold, radical and decisive. Taking the man in the whole, balancing the tremendous magnitude of the situation, and the necessary means to ends, Infinite Wisdom has rarely sent a man into the world more perfectly suited to his mission than Abraham Lincoln. Frederick Douglass

It's a poor rule that won't work both ways. Frederick Douglass

American labor rights activist, on activities of the National Farm Workers Association Human law may know no distinction among men in respect of rights, but human practice may. Frederick Douglass

The evidence for indicting immunisations for SIDS is circumstantial, but compelling. However, the keepers of the keys to medical-research funds are not interested in researching this very important lead to the cause of an ongoing, and possibly preventable, tragedy. Anything that implies that immunisations are not the greatest medical advance in the history of public health is ignored or ridiculed. Can you imagine the economic and political import of discovering that immunisations are killing thousands of babies? Frederick Douglass

E have men sold to build churches, women sold to support the gospel, and babes sold to purchase Bibles for the poor heathen, all for the glory of God and the good of souls. The slave auctioneer's bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave trade go hand in hand. Frederick Douglass

The 4th of July is the first great fact in your nation's history - the very ring-bolt in the chain of your yet undeveloped destiny. Pride and patriotism, not less than gratitude, prompt you to celebrate and to hold it in perpetual remembrance. I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation's destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost. Frederick Douglass

He who would be free must strike the first blow. Frederick Douglass

Right is of no Sex-Truth is of no Color-God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren. Frederick Douglass

A government, founded on impartial liberty, where all have a voice and a vote, irrespective of color or of sex-what is there to hinder such a government from standing firm. Frederick Douglass

Our destiny is largely in our hands. Frederick Douglass

I love the religion of Christianity - which cometh from above - which is a pure, peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of good fruits, and without hypocrisy. Frederick Douglass

No people to whom liberty is given can hold it as firmly and wear it as grandly as those who wrench their liberty from the iron hand of the tyrant. Frederick Douglass

Everybody has asked the question, ... 'What shall we do with the Negro?' I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! You're doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, ... let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature's plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. Frederick Douglass



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