Monday, 11 August 2008

Frederick Douglass, Great American

Frederick Douglass, Equal Rights Party Vice-Presidential Nominee, circa 1879

Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, February 14, 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an American abolitionist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer. Called "The Sage of Anacostia" and "The Lion of Anacostia", Douglass is one of the most prominent figures in African-American history and United States history. In 1872, Douglass was nominated as the vice presidential candidate on the Equal Rights Party ticket with Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the United States.

He was a firm believer in the equality of all people, whether black, woman, Native American, or recent immigrant. He was fond of saying, "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."

As a child, slave Frederick Douglass was taught to read, although it was illegal. He read everything he could get access to, like an addict. If only today's young people could be addicted to reading instead of mind-numbing drugs.

Frederick Douglass was determined to make something of himself, despite the severely limiting atmosphere of the 1800s, and having started life as a slave. He succeeded, living a rich and varied life as an intellectual giant. Frederick Douglass was a great American.