Frederick Douglass Civil Rights Activist, Newspaper Editor, and Orator (1818–1895)
Impact and Legacy
Frederick Douglass was the most prominent African American activist of the nineteenth century. Not only did he manage to survive slavery and live in freedom, but he also became an articulate critic of the institution and an active participant in the U.S. political system. From the most humble of beginnings Douglass rose to advise presidents of the United States on issues important to his race, and eventually he formally represented his country in the diplomatic corps. His is an important example of the American dream of overcoming obstacles and reaching one's goals. In addition to his important achievements, Douglass was a giant among the thinkers of his century. Because he was so articulate and prolific in his speeches, autobiographies, and editorials, Americans can today know Douglass and the world he inhabited. Douglass offers an important example that social distance does not have to be a deterrent to achieving greatness in America. He remains important...
Frederick Douglass (Library of Congress)View Full Size