Frederick Douglass Top 10 Quotes


The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.

Frederick Douglass (West India Emancipation Speech, 1857)


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)


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)


We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future. 

Frederick Douglass


Once you learn to read, you will forever be free.

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)


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)


I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.

Frederick Douglass


The soul that is within me no man can degrade.

Frederick Douglass


If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.

Frederick Douglass (West India Emancipation Speech, 1857)

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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.

Notable Works

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave (1845)
My Bondage and My Freedom

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