The Best Frederick Douglass quotes

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Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in February 1818 on a plantation in Talbot County, Maryland. When he was just a young boy, he was sent to work for a shipbuilder in Baltimore, where he learned to read and write. After escaping to the North in 1838, Douglass became an abolitionist and prominent speaker against slavery. He published his autoquotes compilation, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, in 1845, which helped bring awareness to the horrors of slavery. Douglass also fought for women’s suffrage and other civil rights causes. He died in 1895 at the age of 77. His life is an inspiring story of courage and determination that still resonates today.

Here are the deepest Work, Slave, Truth, Free, Nation, Freedom Struggle, Famous, Narrative Life quotes from Frederick Douglass, and much more.


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About Frederick Douglass

birth of the author

February 14, 1817

death of the author

February 20, 1895

political of the author

Political Party:

occupation of the author

Abolitionist, Suffragist, Author, Editor, Diplomat


Every one of us should be ashamed to be free while his brother is a slave. โ€” Frederick Douglass

Once you read, you will be free forever. โ€” Frederick Douglass

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

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

every one of us should be ashamed to be free while his brother is a slave Frederick Douglass quote

To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker. โ€” Frederick Douglass

The thought of only being a creature of the present and 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. โ€” Frederick Douglass

Our destiny is largely in our hands. โ€” Frederick Douglass


What to the Slave is the 4th of July. โ€” Frederick Douglass

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

what to the slave is the 4th of july Frederick Douglass quote

We were both victims to the same overshadowing evilโ€“she, as mistress, I, as slave. โ€” Frederick Douglass

I didn’t know I was a slave until I found out I couldn’t do the things I wanted. โ€” Frederick Douglass

You have seen how a man was made a slave; You shall see how a slave was made a man. โ€” 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. โ€” Frederick Douglass

Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears. โ€” Frederick Douglass

we were both victims to the same overshadowing evil she as mistress i as slave Frederick Douglass quote

Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave. โ€” Frederick Douglass


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

A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it. โ€” Frederick Douglass

What was Frederick Douglassโ€™s childhood like?

Frederick Douglass was born in slavery to a Black mother and a white father.

At age eight the man who owned him sent him to Baltimore, Maryland, to live in the household of Hugh Auld. There Auldโ€™s wife taught Douglass to read.

The relation between the white and colored people of this country is the great, paramount, imperative, and allโ€“commanding question for this age and nation to solve. โ€” Frederick Douglass

In a composite nation like ours, as before the law, there should be no rich, no poor, no high, no low, no white, no black, but common country, common citizenship, equal rights and a common destiny. โ€” Frederick Douglass

power concedes nothing without a demand Frederick Douglass quote

Power concedes nothing without a demand. โ€” Frederick Douglass


Praying for freedom never did me any good til I started praying with my feet. โ€” Frederick Douglass

Redundant Thematics

In Frederick Douglass Statements


Freedom is a road seldom traveled by the multitude. โ€” 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. โ€” Frederick Douglass

Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. โ€” Frederick Douglass

praying for freedom never did me any good til i started praying with my feet Frederick Douglass quote

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


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

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

Slaves are generally expected to sing as well as to work. โ€” 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. โ€” Frederick Douglass

slaves are generally expected to sing as well as to work Frederick Douglass quote

A little learning, indeed, may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity to any people. โ€” Frederick Douglass


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

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

They suppress the truth rather than take the consequence of telling it, and in so doing prove themselves a part of the human family. โ€” Frederick Douglass

When a great truth once gets abroad in the world, no power on earth can imprison it, or prescribe its limits, or suppress it. It is bound to go on till it becomes the thought of the world. โ€” Frederick Douglass

truth is proper and beautiful in all times and in all places Frederick Douglass quote

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