Frederick Douglass Quotes & Wallpapers

Frederick Douglass
Total Quotes: 257


My theory of self-made men is, then, simply this; that they are men of work. Whether or not such men have acquired material, moral or intellectual excellence, honest labor faithfully, steadily and persistently pursued, is the best, if not the only, explanation of their success... All human experience proves over and over again, that any success which comes through meanness, trickery, fraud and dishonour, is but emptiness and will only be a torment to its possessor. Frederick Douglass

Liberty for all; chains for none. Frederick Douglass

Poverty, ignorance and degradation are the combined evils, these constitute the social disease of the free colored people of the US. Frederick Douglass

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

The man who is right is a majority. We, who have God and conscience on our side, have a majority against the universe. Frederick Douglass

I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hate the corrupt, slave-holding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Frederick Douglass

Be not discouraged. There is a future for you.... The resistance encountered now predicates hope.... Only as we rise... do we encounter opposition. Frederick Douglass

The silver trump of freedom roused in my soul eternal wakefulness. Frederick Douglass

From the first I saw no chance of bettering the condition of the freedman until he should cease to be merely a freedman and should become a citizen. Frederick Douglass

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. Frederick Douglass

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. Frederick Douglass

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

The relation between the white and colored people of this country is the great, paramount, imperative, and all-commanding question for this age and nation to solve. Frederick Douglass

The church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors.... For my part, I would say, welcome infidelity! Welcome atheism! Welcome anything! in preference to the gospel, as preached by these Divines! They convert the very name of religion into an engine of tyranny and barbarous cruelty, and serve to confirm more infidels, in this age, than all the infidel writings of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Bolingbroke put together have done! Frederick Douglass

I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglass

I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hatethe corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial, and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Frederick Douglass

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

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

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, . . . neither persons nor property will be safe. Frederick Douglass

Abolish slavery tomorrow, and not a sentence or syllable of the Constitution need be altered. It was purposely so framed as to give no claim, no sanction to the claim, of property in man. If in its origin slavery had any relation to the government, it was only as the scaffolding to the magnificent structure, to be removed as soon as the building was completed. Frederick Douglass

Now, take the Constitution according to its plain reading, and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery. Frederick Douglass

Educate your sons and daughters, send them to school, and show them that beside the cartridge box, the ballot box, and the jury box, you also have the knowledge box. Frederick Douglass

Let us render the tyrant no aid. Frederick Douglass

The opposite of compromise is character. Frederick Douglass

If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Frederick Douglass

Having despised us, it is not strange that Americans should seek to render us despicable; having enslaved us, it is natural that they should strive to prove us unfit for freedom; having denounced us as indolent, it is not strange that they should cripple our enterprises. Frederick Douglass

If we ever get free from all the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and, if needs be, by our lives, and the lives of others. Frederick Douglass

The silver trump of freedom had roused my soul to eternal wakefulness. Freedom now appeared, to disappear no more forever. It was heard in every sound, and seen in every thing. Frederick Douglass

Neither we, nor any other people, will ever be respected till we respect ourselves and we will never respect ourselves till we have the means to live respectfully. Frederick Douglass

The man who will get up will be helped up; and the man who will not get up will be allowed to stay down. Frederick Douglass

There are at present many Coloured men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and labourers, but real soldiers, having muskets on their shoulders, and bullets in their pockets. Frederick Douglass

I have no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it. Frederick Douglass

The relation subsisting between the white and colored people of this country is the great, paramount, imperative, and all-commanding question for this age and nation to solve. Frederick Douglass

The story of our inferiority is an old dodge, as I have said; for wherever men oppress their fellows, wherever they enslave them, they will endeavor to find the needed apology for such enslavement and oppression in the character of the people oppressed and enslaved. Frederick Douglass

One and God make a majority. Frederick Douglass

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

We are free to say that in respect to political rights, we hold women to be justly entitled to all we claim for men. Frederick Douglass

A man is worked on by what he works on. Frederick Douglass

I have observed this in my experience of slavery, - that 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. I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason. He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery; he must be made to feel that slavery is right; and he can be brought to that only when he ceased to be a man. Frederick Douglass

The Constitution of the United States knows no distinction between citizens on account of color. Neither does it know any difference between a citizen of a state and a citizen of the United States. Frederick Douglass

Truth is proper and beautiful in all times and in all places. Frederick Douglass

Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one's thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down. Frederick Douglass

I recognize the Republican party as the sheet anchor of the colored mans political hopes and the ark of his safety. Frederick Douglass

Power and those in control concede nothing ... without a demand. Hey never have and never will... Each and every one of us must keep demanding, must keep fighting, must keep thundering, must keep plowing, must keep on keeping things struggling, must speak out and speak up until justice is served because where there is no justice there is no peace. Frederick Douglass

The simplest truths often meet the sternest resistance and are slowest in getting general acceptance. Frederick Douglass

Let us render the tyrant no aid; let us not hold the light by which he can trace the footprints of our flying brother. Frederick Douglass

I have one great political idea. . . . That idea is an old one. It is widely and generally assented to; nevertheless, it is very generally trampled upon and disregarded. The best expression of it, I have found in the Bible. It is in substance, "Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach to any people" [Proverbs 14:34]. This constitutes my politics - the negative and positive of my politics, and the whole of my politics. . . . I feel it my duty to do all in my power to infuse this idea into the public mind, that it may speedily be recognized and practiced upon by our people. Frederick Douglass

A man's rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box. Frederick Douglass

We may explain success mainly by one word and that word is WORK! WORK!! WORK!!! WORK!!!! Frederick Douglass

For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others. Frederick Douglass

It was a glorious resurrection, from the tomb of slavery, to the heaven of slavery. My long-crushed spirit rose, cowardice departed, bold defiance took its place; and I now resolved that, however long I might remain a slave in form, the day had passed forever when I could be a slave in fact. Frederick Douglass

As those who believe in the visibility of ghosts can easily see them, so it is always easy to see repulsive qualities in those we despise and hate. Frederick Douglass

...of whom I can say with a grateful heart, 'I was hungry, and he gave me meat; I was thirsty, and he gave me drink; I was a stranger, and he took me in.' Frederick Douglass

...I recognize the widest possible difference-so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. Frederick Douglass

Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one's thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down. They know its power. Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, founded in injustice and wrong, are sure to tremble, if men are allowed to reason... Equally clear is the right to hear. To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker. Frederick Douglass

Civil war was not a mere strife for territory and dominion, but a contest of civilization against barbarism. Frederick Douglass

The ballot is the only safety. Frederick Douglass

We had talked long enough; we were now ready to move; if not now, we never should be; and if we did not intend to move now, we had as well fold our arms, sit down, and acknowledge ourselves fit only to be slaves. Frederick Douglass

This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. Frederick Douglass

My hopes were never brighter than now. Frederick Douglass

Immense wealth, and its lavish expenditure, fill the great house with all that can please the eye, or tempt the taste. Here, appetite, not food, is the great desideratum. Frederick Douglass

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Frederick Douglass

The soul that is within me no man can degrade. Frederick Douglass

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

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

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. Frederick Douglass

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

Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave. Frederick Douglass

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



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