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Frederick Douglass Quotes

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When men sow the wind it is rational to expect that they will reap the whirlwind.
Frederick Douglass (Lynch Law in the South, 1892)
Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.
Frederick Douglass
To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.
Frederick Douglass (A Plea for Free Speech, 1860)
The life of a nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.
Frederick Douglass (Speech in Washington D.C., 1885)
A man's character always takes its hue, more or less, from the form and color of things about him.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 1845)
You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 1845)
Once you learn to read, you will forever be free.
Frederick Douglass
We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future. 
Frederick Douglass
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.
Frederick Douglass (Speech in New York, 1852)
The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.
Frederick Douglass (West India Emancipation Speech, 1857)
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.
Frederick Douglass (The Mission of the War, 1864)
I didn't know I was a slave until I found out I couldn't do the things I wanted.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 1845)
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
Frederick Douglass (Speech in New York, 1857)
A gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me.
Frederick Douglass
Man's greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done.
Frederick Douglass (Quoted in The Mind of Frederick Douglass, 1986)
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
Frederick Douglass
Men may not get all they pay for in this world, but they must certainly pay for all they get.
Variant: People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.
Frederick Douglass
The soul that is within me no man can degrade.
Frederick Douglass
Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. 
Frederick Douglass (West India Emancipation Speech, 1857)
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.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 1845)
The white man's happiness cannot be purchased by the black man's misery.
Frederick Douglass
I could, as a free man, look across the bay toward the Eastern Shore where I was born a slave.
Frederick Douglass
Man's greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done.
Frederick Douglass
No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.
Frederick Douglass (Speech in Washington D.C., 1883)
A little learning, indeed, may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity to any people.
Frederick Douglass (Speech at a highschool in Maryland, 1894)
I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.
Frederick Douglass
The relation between the white and colored people of this country is the great, paramount, imperative, and all-commanding question for this age and nation to solve.
Frederick Douglass (Speech in New York, 1863)
The silver trump of freedom had roused my soul to eternal wakefulness. Freedom now appeared, to disappear no more forever. It was heard in every sound, and seen in every thing.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 1845)
I can see no reason, but the most decietful one, for calling the religion of this land Chritianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, the grossest of all libels.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 1845)
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.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 1845)
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Frederick Douglass Biography

Born: February, 1818
Died: February 20, 1895

Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. He was a firm believer in equality of all people. He also made an autobiography which described his way to becoming a free man.

Top 10 Quotes
Notable Works
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave (1845)
My Bondage and My Freedom
(1855)
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