Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass made a commitment to being a man of action. “That there are no power but that which we ourselves exert” – so go his beliefs and words. He was an American Negro who shared the desire for freedom and justice and felt that Negroes must not remain silent, and that they must always stand up to do what it takes to get there. He was famous for his writings and speeches, at the same time he also contributed enormously to the world’s civil rights movement.

He is most well known as a freed slave and a great abolitionist, who overcame the prejudice of many whites who saw him as a fair-skinned slave, not a person to be respected. As the writer Frederick Douglass said, “white men did not want a Negro in their midst” (quoted in “The Black Man’s Dilemma: A Man to Come to Their Aid”. By Benjamin Chavis). He was a fierce critic of racism and the nation’s leaders who remained indifferent and stoic in the face of discrimination.

He had been torn between being a model of morality and decency and remaining a self-made man, with a strong moral obligation towards his people and the cause. One who refused to compromise his principles to avoid the feeling of guilt.

Second, Frederick Douglass was a marvelous person to listen to. His oratory ability and the deep, sincere conviction with which he spoke were amazing. He displayed an extraordinary knack for language and poetry and was a passionate speaker. There is no comparison between him and any other politician in America today. His thoughts on political issues were simply magnificent.

He possessed great humility and a lofty view of himself, with which he could treat anybody with great humble respect. His disregard for himself and the humiliations caused by segregation and discrimination were admirable qualities. When people criticized him for his indifference and timidity, he was able to remain unflappable and resolute.

He was the author of most of the books he wrote, as his writings were mostly based on his experiences with his family, his struggles for freedom and the people and events of his life. His books were filled with candor and an insight of how people lived in a society that was ruled by the greed of a few and the prejudice of others. He did not dwell on ideals of social justice, and was a man of action, as he was driven by a deep sense of duty and responsibility towards his people.

He was also an advocate of equal rights for all people regardless of race, religion, political affiliation, and slavery. He believed in the rights of any person, and that the best way to serve these people was to do their best for them. He was an eloquent and inspiring leader of a movement that eventually led to the abolishment of slavery. His greatest enemy, though, was the prejudice he faced, and this was done through relentless publicity, by publishing many of his writings, and writing letters to the editor, as well as by his criticisms of our society.

His biggest inspiration was his vision of the future and of the African Americans that he believed would be the forefathers of a new civil rights movement. This idea was first voiced by him in 1854, when he stated, “Negroes are the only part of mankind upon whom the Gods have yet bestowed a perfect and honorable equality. If we make slaves of them, we shall be the most degraded of all mankind.”

He was amongst the first to believe that if a nonviolent and democratic movement can succeed in achieving equal rights for blacks in the United States, then many other nations would follow. The success of the American Civil Rights Movement not only showed courage and strength of character on the part of millions of people of all races but also showed the world the greatness of America.

He was an inspirational leader, but was never complacent. He knew that it would take a slow and steady process to achieve the goal of full equality for African Americans. And would require a lot of hard work, not only by blacks but by white people as well. In order to create a society where all were respected.