Frederick Douglass, among other things, became the first African American to be nominated for Vice President, alongside Victoria Woodhull. I just learned that. He also became a highly influential abolitionist after escaping slavery in Maryland, which is amazing. His first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, became a bestseller.
There’s nobody better to listen to when you’ve got something to get through than Douglass. So here are ten of our favorite things he’s said.
1. It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
2. Without a struggle, there can be no progress.
3. Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.
4. People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.
5. 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.
6. To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.
10. I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.
Image Via Wikipedia