Black History Month: Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was a brilliant writer, orator, and a renowned anti-slavery activist in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Born to an enslaved woman in 1818, he escaped to the North at age twenty and lectured throughout the United States. In a speech in 1852, he expressed respect for America’s founders but also criticized the hypocrisy of American Christianity’s support of slavery.

His speech was filled with biblical references, including texts from the book of Acts. “You profess to believe that, 'of one blood,' God made 'all nations of men to dwell on the face of all the earth,' and hath commanded all men, everywhere to 'love one another;' yet you notoriously hate all men whose skins are not colored like your own.”

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