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Honoring the Work of Frederick Douglass

Categories: Activities, Authors for Access, General, Parenting, Reading Champions, Students


Frederick Douglass was born enslaved as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey on Holme Hill Farm in Talbot County, Maryland. Photograph of Frederick Douglass

Although the date of his birth was not recorded, Douglass estimated that he had been born in February 1818, and it is in this month that we celebrate his life and contributions to social justice and civil rights. 

Frederick Douglass was a prominent abolitionist, orator and statesman, who sought to end the practice of slavery before and during the Civil War. One of his most revered speeches is “The meaning of July Fourth for a Negro.” A brave affront to the hypocritical concept of independence at a time when slavery existed and racial injustices surged.

After the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862, Douglass continued to push for equality, women’s rights, and human rights until his death in 1895. He penned five autobiographies, along with dozens of noteworthy speeches, despite receiving minimal formal education. One of his most esteemed publications is his 1845 autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, describing his time as an enslaved worker. 

Douglass’ work served as an inspiration to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and today his legacy continues to live on.

You can find many wonderful titles about Frederick Douglass in the Learning Ally audiobook library.