HomeQuotesFrederick Douglass Quotes That Will Give You Lessons for Life

Frederick Douglass Quotes That Will Give You Lessons for Life

African-American social reformer, Frederick Douglass was born in 1817 or 1818 (Washington Bailey) and is widely known as one of the most vocal defenders of human rights in the anti-slavery movement. Even after the Civil War, Douglas constant his campaign against slavery and reinforced the plan. At that time slaves were not able to function as free American citizens because they were denied access to schooling, and this way they were lacking intellectual ability. He himself was born in slavery. But with his strong will to become a free man and with help of his first wife Anna Murray, Frederick was able to escape slavery. He influenced others and worked for the rights of freed slaves. Frederick Douglass was a famous man who became a prominent activist, author and public speaker. He became a leader in the abolitionist movement. He wrote three autobiographies which described his life as a slave. He was also the first First American African to be nominated as Vise President of United States without his permission. He passed away on February 20, 1895 after suffering a heart attack. Below is a collection of Frederick Douglass Quotes that will give you lessons for life, inspire you and give you courage.

Frederick Douglass Quotes

Frederick Douglass quotes on education

“Experience is a keen teacher;” ― Frederick Douglass

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  • “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
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  • “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
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  • “For my part, I should prefer death to hopeless bondage.”― Frederick Douglass
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  • “One and God make a majority.”― Frederick Douglass
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  • “The soul that is within me no man can degrade.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” ― Frederick Douglass
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  • “The white man’s happiness cannot be purchased by the black man’s misery.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “I didn’t know I was a slave until I found out I couldn’t do the things I wanted.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “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
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  • “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “Fugitive slaves were rare then, and as a fugitive slave lecturer, I had the advantage of being the first one out.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “There is not a man beneath the canopy of Heaven who does not know that slavery is wrong for him.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “I had a wholesome dread of the consequences of running in debt.”― Frederick Douglass
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  • “A gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me.” ― Frederick Douglass
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Frederick Douglass quotes on success

“My hopes were never brighter than now.” ― Frederick Douglass

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  • “I will give Mr. Freeland the credit of being the best master I ever had, till I became my own master.” ― Frederick Douglass
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  • “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
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  • “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
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  • “From apparently the basest metals we have the finest toned bells.”― Frederick Douglass
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  • “You are not judged by the height you have risen, but from the depth you have climbed.”― Frederick Douglass
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  • “A man’s rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “I will unite with anyone to do good, but with no one to do harm.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “Every one of us should be ashamed to be free while his brother is a slave.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “We may explain success mainly by one word and that word is WORK! WORK!! WORK!!! WORK!!!!” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “I know of no rights of race superior to the rights of humanity…” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “You have to take power. No one gives it.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “Interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the constitution is a Glorious Liberty Document!” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “The silver trump of freedom roused in my soul eternal wakefulness.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.” –Frederick Douglass
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  • “Some know the value of education by having it. I know its value by not having it.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “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
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  • “Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.”- Frederick Douglass
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  • “Slaves are generally expected to sing as well as to work.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “A man who will enslave his own blood, may not be safely relied on for magnamity.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “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
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  • “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
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  • “The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “The destiny of the colored American … is the destiny of America.” ― Frederick Douglass
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  • “The man who is right is a majority. He who has God and conscience on his side, has a majority against the universe.” ― Frederick Douglass
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  • “Freedom is a road seldom traveled by the multitude.” ― Frederick Douglass
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  • “A man is worked upon by what he works on. He may carve out his circumstances, but his circumstances will carve him out as well.” ― Frederick Douglass
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Frederick Douglass quotes about freedom

“Our destiny is largely in our hands.” ― Frederick Douglass

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  • “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “A man’s character always takes its hue, more or less, from the form and color of things about him.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “Man’s greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “Right is of no sex, Truth is of no color, God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “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
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  • “A little learning, indeed, may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity to any people.” –Frederick Douglass
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  • “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
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  • “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
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  • “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
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  • You might also like these John Brown quotes about freedom, vision and slavery.
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  • “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
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You may also like: Quotes on Showing Up to Motivate Your Life

  • “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
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  • “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
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  • “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
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  • “For of all slaveholders with whom I have ever met, religious slaveholders are the worst. I have ever found them the meanest and basest, the most cruel and cowardly, of all others.” – Frederick Douglass
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  • “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.” ― Frederick Douglass
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  • If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of unity quotes about bringing people together.
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  • “The thought of only being a creature of the present and past was troubling. I longed for a future too, with hope in it. The desire to be free, awakened my determination to act, to think, and to speak.” ― Frederick Douglass
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  • “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
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  • “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
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  • . “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
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