Frederick Douglass Quotes

93 Frederick Douglass Quotes reflecting his wisdom and legacy

Frederick Douglass was a great African-American reformer and also an excellent writer, editor, and public speaker. He left an indelible mark on history through his powerful words, speeches, and autobiographical works. Born into slavery in 1818, Douglass escaped bondage at a young age and became a prominent voice in the fight against slavery and for civil rights. Throughout his life, he shared profound insights on freedom, equality, and the power of education. Frederick Douglass’s words continue to echo through time, inspiring people to fight against injustice and work towards a more equitable world. His quotes remind us of the value of education, integrity, and the importance of collective action. In this article, we will explore some of the most impactful and timeless Frederick Douglass quotes.

Frederick Douglass Quotes

  1. “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” ~ Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass Quotes

  1. “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” ~ Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass Quotes

  1. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” ~ Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass Quotes

  1. “The soul that is within me no man can degrade.” ~ Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass Quotes

  1. “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  2. “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  3. “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  4. “To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  5. “Some know the value of education by having it. I know its value by not having it.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  6. “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.” ~ Frederick Douglass

Quotes by Frederick Douglass

  1. “Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.”- Frederick Douglass
  2. “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
  3. “We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  4. “I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  5. “The white man’s happiness cannot be purchased by the black man’s misery.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  6. “I didn’t know I was a slave until I found out I couldn’t do the things I wanted.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  7. “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
  8. “Fugitive slaves were rare then, and as a fugitive slave lecturer, I had the advantage of being the first one out.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  9. “What to the Slave is the 4th of July.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  10. “There is not a man beneath the canopy of Heaven who does not know that slavery is wrong for him.” ~ Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass Quote

  1. “Slaves are generally expected to sing as well as to work.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  2. “Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  3. “A man who will enslave his own blood, may not be safely relied on for magnamity.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  4. “What I ask for the Negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  5. “I should esteem it a privilege to set you an example as to how mankind ought to treat each other. I am your fellow-man, but not your slave.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  6. “The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  7. A smile or a tear has not nationality; joy and sorrow speak alike to all nations, and they, above all the confusion of tongues, proclaim the brotherhood of man.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  8. The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  9. “The destiny of the colored American … is the destiny of America.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  10. We succeed, not alone by the laborious exertions of our faculties, be they small or great, but by the regular, thoughtful and systematic exercise of them.” ~ Frederick Douglass

Greatest Frederick Douglass Quotes

  1. “Freedom is a road seldom traveled by the multitude.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  2. “A great man, tender of heart, strong of nerve, boundless patience and broadest sympathy, with no motive apart from his country.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  3. “Our destiny is largely in our hands.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  4. “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  5. “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
  6. “A man’s character always takes its hue, more or less, from the form and color of things about him.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  7. “People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  8. “Man’s greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  9. “Right is of no sex, Truth is of no color, God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  10. “A man is worked on by what he works on.” ~ Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass Quotes

  1. “I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hate the corrupt, slave-holding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  2. “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
  3. “A little learning, indeed, may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity to any people.” ~Frederick Douglass
  4. “A gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  5. My hopes were never brighter than now.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  6. “The relation between the white and colored people of this country is the great, paramount, imperative, and all-commanding question for this age and nation to solve.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  7. “I will give Mr. Freeland the credit of being the best master I ever had, till I became my own master.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  8. “Experience is a keen teacher.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  9. “To enslave men, successfully and safely, it is necessary to have their minds occupied with thoughts and aspirations short of the liberty of which they are deprived. A certain degree of attainable good must be kept before them.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  10. “He treated me as a man… He did not let me feel for a moment that there was any difference in the color of our skins.” ~ Frederick Douglass

Best Frederick Douglass Quotes

  1. “They suppress the truth rather than take the consequence of telling it, and in so doing prove themselves a part of the human family.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  2. “Men talk of the Negro problem. There is no Negro problem. The problem is whether the American people have honesty enough, loyalty enough, honor enough, patriotism enough to live up to their Constitution”~ Frederick Douglass
  3. “For my part, I should prefer death to hopeless bondage.”~ Frederick Douglass
  4. “One and God make a majority.”~ Frederick Douglass
  5. “Without any appeal to books, to laws, or to authorities of any kind, it was enough to accept God as a father, to regard slavery as a crime. I”~ Frederick Douglass
  6. “I had a wholesome dread of the consequences of running in debt.”~ Frederick Douglass
  7. “For no man who lives at all lives unto himself. He either helps or hinders all who are in anywise connected to him.”~ Frederick Douglass
  8. “Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they, first of all, strike down.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  9. “We may explain success mainly by one word and that word is WORK! WORK!! WORK!!! WORK!!!!” ~ Frederick Douglass
  10. “I know of no rights of race superior to the rights of humanity…” ~ Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass Famous Quotes

  1. “You have to take power. No one gives it.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  2. “I will unite with anyone to do good, but with no one to do harm.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  3. “Every one of us should be ashamed to be free while his brother is a slave.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  4. “He was whipped oftener who was whipped easiest.”~ Frederick Douglass
  5. “A man, at times, gets something for nothing, but it will, in his hands, amount to nothing.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  6. “No people to whom liberty is given can hold it as firmly and wear it as grandly as those who wrench their liberty from the iron hand of the tyrant.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  7. “The silver trump of freedom roused in my soul eternal wakefulness.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  8. “Education means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light by which men can only be made free.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  9. “As a people, Americans are remarkably familiar with all facts which make in their own favor.”~ Frederick Douglass
  10. “No man whose vision is bounded by colour can come into contact with what is highest and best in the world.”~ Frederick Douglass

Inspiring Frederick Douglass Quotes

  1. “Stars shall fall from heaven.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  2. “I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one.”~ Frederick Douglass
  3. “It is no disparagement to truth, that it can only prevail where reason prevails. War begins where reason ends. The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.”~ Frederick Douglass
  4. “Your faculties remained yours, and mine became useful to their rightful owner.”~ Frederick Douglass
  5. “Truth shines with brighter light and intenser heat at every moment, and a country torn and rent and bleeding implores relief from its distress and agony.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  6. “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has and never will. Show me the exact amount of wrong and injustices that are visited upon a person and I will show you the exact amount of words endured by these people.”~ Frederick Douglass
  7. “Let us render the tyrant no aid; let us not hold the light by which he can trace the footprints of our flying brother.”~ Frederick Douglass
  8. “From apparently the basest metals we have the finest toned bells.”~ Frederick Douglass
  9. “You are not judged by the height you have risen, but from the depth you have climbed.”~ Frederick Douglass
  10. “A man’s rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.” ~ Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass Quotes

  1. “Neither we, nor any other people, will ever be respected till we respect ourselves and we will never respect ourselves till we have the means to live respectfully.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  2. “Is it possible for the human mind to conceive of a more horrible state of society?”~ Frederick Douglass
  3. “The man who will get up will be helped up; and the man who will not get up will be allowed to stay down.”~ Frederick Douglass
  4. “Welcome, welcome joy, welcome sorrow, welcome pleasure, welcome pain. You are all the ingredients of life — and with you all, life is an inestimable blessing.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  5. “Another advantage I gained in my new master was, he made no pretensions to, or profession of, religion; and this, in my opinion, was truly a great advantage.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  6. “Reason is imprisoned here, and passions run wild. Like the fires of the prairie, once lighted, they are at the mercy of every wind, and must burn, till they have consumed all that is combustible within their remorseless grasp.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  7. “Alas! I had not then learned the measure of “man’s inhumanity to man,” nor to what limitless extent of wickedness he will go for the love of gain.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  8. “To be accused was to be convicted, and to be convicted was to be punished; the one always following the other with immutable certainty.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  9. “We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake…the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes…denounced.” ~ Frederick Douglass

More Frederick Douglass Quotes

  1. “A man without force, is without the essential dignity of humanity. Human nature is so constituted, that it cannot honor a helpless man, although it can pity him.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  2. “The reading of these speeches added much to my limited stock of language, and enabled me to give tongue to many interesting thoughts, which had frequently flashed through my soul, and died away for want of utterance.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  3. “The mere recurrence to those songs, even now, afflicts me; and while I am writing these lines, an expression of feeling has already found its way down my cheek.” ~ Frederick Douglass

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