Frederick Douglass quotes

Born
February 1818, Cordova, Talbot County, Maryland, U.S.

Died
February 20, 1895.

Occupation
Abolitionist, suffragist, author, editor, diplomat.

Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, gaining note for his oratory and incisive antislavery writings.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed.
– Frederick Douglass
If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
– Frederick Douglass
I didn’t know I was a slave until I found out I couldn’t do the things I wanted.
– Frederick Douglass
A little learning, indeed, may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity to any people.
– 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
I could, as a free man, look across the bay toward the Eastern Shore where I was born a slave.
– Frederick Douglass
Fugitive slaves were rare then, and as a fugitive slave lecturer, I had the advantage of being the first one out.
– Frederick Douglass
The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.
– Frederick Douglass
There is not a man beneath the canopy of Heaven who does not know that slavery is wrong for him.
– Frederick Douglass
Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.
– Frederick Douglass
The soul that is within me no man can degrade.
– Frederick Douglass
I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.
– Frederick Douglass
One and God make a majority.
– 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
A man’s character always takes its hue, more or less, from the form and color of things about him.
– Frederick Douglass
The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.
– Frederick Douglass
What to the Slave is the 4th of July.
– Frederick Douglass
We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.
– Frederick Douglass
Without a struggle, there can be no progress.
– Frederick Douglass
I recognize the Republican party as the sheet anchor of the colored man’s political hopes and the ark of his safety.
– Frederick Douglass
People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.
– Frederick Douglass
That which is inhuman cannot be divine.
– 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
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
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
– Frederick Douglass
Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.
– Frederick Douglass
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
To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.
– Frederick Douglass