Reading History: Frederick Douglass

I think we remember Frederick Douglass because of his exceptional story of rising from slavery and becoming an outspoken leader for liberty and justice. His autobiography and even some of his speeches are essential components of U.S. history.

  “Yet people in general will say they like colored men as well as any other, but in their proper place! They assign us that place; they don’t let us do it for ourselves, nor will they allow us a voice in the decision. They will not allow that we have a head to think, and a heart to feel, and a soul to aspire. They treat us not as men, but as dogs–they cry “Stu-boy!” and expect us to run and do their bidding. That’s the way we are liked. You degrade us, and then ask why we are degraded–you shut our mouths, and then ask why we don’t speak–you close our colleges and seminaries against us, and then ask why we don’t know more.” from “The Church and Prejudice”

14 Feb 1817 Frederick Douglass was born

16 Feb 1857 Douglass was elected President of the Freeman Bank and Trust

29 Feb 1985 death of Frederick Douglass

Douglass is certainly a figure in U.S. history young people should read about.

Use this site from Maryland Public Television to learn and read from Douglass’ narrative of his live.








Facing Frederick : The Life of Frederick Douglass a Monumental American Man by Tonya Bolden (Abrams, 2018)

Escape From Slavery: The Boyhood of Frederick Douglass In His Own Words illustrated by Michael McCurdy. (Random House, 1994)

Frederick Douglass Fighter Against Slavery by Pat McKissack and Fredrick McKissack (Enslow, 2013)

Frederick Douglass : The Lion Who Wrote History by Walter Dean Myers and Floyd Cooper (Quill Tree Press, 2021; paperback)