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Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) American diplomat, abolitionist and writer

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Born into slavery in Maryland, Fredrick Douglass is one of the most well-known abolitionists in American History. His autobiography, “Narrative of the life of Fredrick Douglas” gives a first –person account of the cruelty of slavery and is a treatise on abolition. The most influential African American of the nineteenth century, Douglass made a career of agitating the American conscience. He spoke and wrote on behalf of a variety of reform causes: women’s rights, temperance, peace, land reform, free public education, and the abolition of capital punishment. But he devoted the bulk of his time, immense talent, and boundless energy to ending slavery and gaining equal rights for African Americans. These were the central concerns of his long reform career. Douglass understood that the struggle for emancipation and equality demanded forceful, persistent, and unyielding agitation. And he recognized that African Americans must play a conspicuous role in that struggle. Less than a month before his death, when a young black man solicited his advice to an African American just starting out in the world, Douglass replied without hesitation: “Agitate! Agitate! Agitate

Black History Profile: Frederick Douglass  was originally published on