Retired city firefighter Ron Mackey reminds us of the work and words of leading abolitionist, writer and orator of the 19th Century, Frederick Douglass.
Here is a little American history that I looked up and I have posted before, it’s just a reminder of how far this country has moved forward but there is much more to do.
On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence that was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation.
Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) was the best known and most influential African American leader of the 1800s. He was born a slave in Maryland but managed to escape to the North in 1838.
He traveled to Massachusetts and settled in New Bedford, working as a laborer to support himself. In 1841, he attended a convention of the Massachusetts Antislavery Society and quickly came to the attention of its members, eventually becoming a leading figure in the New England antislavery movement.
He settled in Rochester, New York, where he published The North Star, an abolitionist newspaper. He directed the local underground railroad which smuggled escaped slaves into Canada and also worked to end racial segregation in Rochester’s public schools.
In 1852, the leading citizens of Rochester asked Douglass to give a speech as part of their Fourth of July celebrations. Douglass accepted their invitation.
In his speech, however, Douglass delivered a scathing attack on the hypocrisy of a nation celebrating freedom and independence with speeches, parades and platitudes, while, within its borders, nearly four million humans were being kept as slaves.