Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, c. February 1818 - February 20, 1895) was an African-American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves did not have the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.
I have often sung to drown my sorrow, but seldom to express my happiness.
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.
I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence.
I would unite with anybody to do right; and with nobody to do wrong.
If there is no struggle there is no progress.
In all the relations of life and death, we are met by the color line.
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.
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.
The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress.
The man who is right is a majority.
Those who profess to favour freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without ploughing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
To make a contented slave it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken the moral and mental vision and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason.
What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.
When a great truth once gets abroad in the world, no power on earth can imprison it, or prescribe its limits, or suppress it.
Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.