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Frederick Douglass & the Movement for Liberation.

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1 Frederick Douglass & the Movement for Liberation





6 “Thus we see the fate of millions unborn hanging on the tongue of one man, and heaven was silent in that awful moment.” Thomas Jefferson


8 His slavery here relieves him from a far more cruel slavery in Africa, from idolatry and cannibalism, and every brutal vice and crime that can disgrace humanity; it christianizes, protects, supports and civilizes him; it governs him far better than free laborers at the North are governed. There, wife-murder has become a mere holiday pastime…. Negroes never kill their wives…. Our negroes are not only better off as to physical comfort than free laborers, but their moral condition is better. The negro slaves of the South are the happiest, and, in some sense, the freest people in the world…. The master labors for the slave, they exchange industrial value. But the capitalist, living on his income, gives nothing to his subjects. He lives by mere exploitations. George Fitzhugh, 1850

9 “Slavery is a form, and the very best form, of socialism.” George Fitzhugh, Sociology for the South, or, The Failure of Free Society, 1854



12 “Every Fourth of July, our Declaration of Independence is produced, with a sublime indignation, to set forth the tyranny of the mother country, and to challenge the admiration of the world. But what a pitiful detail of grievances does this document present, in comparison with the wrongs which our slaves endure! …. In view of it, I am ashamed of my country. I am sick of our unmeaning declamation in praise of liberty and equality; of our hypocritical cant about the unalienable rights of man.” William Lloyd Garrison, July 4, 1829


14 “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn…. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?” July 5, 1852

15 “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing is empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass-fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, 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. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.”


17 “I hold that this cause is not altogether and exclusively a woman’s cause. It is the cause of human brotherhood as well as the cause of human sisterhood, and both must rise and fall together. Woman cannot be elevated without elevating man, and man cannot be depressed without depressing woman also.”


19 Its “true remedy” was a “good revolver, a steady hand and a determination to shoot down any man attempting to kidnap” a fugitive slave.

20 “Every soldier knows he is fighting not only for his own liberty but [even] more for the liberty of the whole human race for all time to come.” Captain Henry Howell, USA, 1864


22 The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us…. 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! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, 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. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!

23 If you see him on his way to school, let him alone, don't disturb him! If you see him going to the dinner table at a hotel, let him go! If you see him going to the ballot- box, let him alone, don't disturb him! If you see him going into a work-shop, just let him alone,--your interference is doing him a positive injury. [Don’t] attempt to prop up the Negro. Let him fall if he cannot stand alone! ….Let him live or die by that. If you will only untie his hands, and give him a chance, I think he will live. He will work as readily for himself as the white man. Frederick Douglass, April 1865




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