Frederick Douglass was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman.
African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
Frederick Douglass - From Slave to Abolitionist by Little Dread
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.
Slavery is a legal or economic system in which principles of property law are applied to humans allowing them to be classified as property, to be owned, bought and sold accordingly, and they cannot withdraw unilaterally from the arrangement.
Frederick Douglass - Mini Bio by BIO
In his time, he was described by abolitionists as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens.
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.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is an 1845 memoir and treatise on abolition written by famous orator and former slave Frederick Douglass.
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.
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise is the right to vote in public, political elections.
Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections.
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 president is the leader of a country or a division or part of a country, typically a republic, a democracy, or a dictatorship.
Victoria Claflin Woodhull, later Victoria Woodhull Martin was an American leader of the woman's suffrage movement.
Douglass was a firm believer in the equality of all peoples, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant.
He was also a believer in dialogue and in making alliances across racial and ideological divides, and in the liberal values of the American Constitution.
When radical abolitionists under the motto "No Union With Slaveholders", criticized Douglass' willingness to dialogue with slave owners, he famously replied: "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.
One biographer argues:
The most influential African American of the nineteenth century, Douglass made a career of agitating the American conscience.
He spoke and wrote on behalf of a variety of reform causes: women's rights, temperance, peace, land reform, free public education, and the abolition of capital punishment.
Women's rights are the rights and entitlements claimed for women and girls of many societies worldwide, and formed the basis to the women's rights movement in the nineteenth century and feminist movement during the 20th century.
But he devoted the bulk of his time, immense talent, and boundless energy to ending slavery and gaining equal rights for African Americans.
Black is the darkest color, the result of the absence or complete absorption of light.
These were the central concerns of his long reform career.
Douglass understood that the struggle for emancipation and equality demanded forceful, persistent, and unyielding agitation.
And he recognized that African Americans must play a conspicuous role in that struggle.