Frederick Douglass

Famed orator and writer Frederick Douglass was also a key architect of the movement that ended slavery, the very institution into which he was born. Even after his goal to abolish slavery was achieved, Douglass persisted in his struggle for equality. His work in the women’s rights and civil rights movements helped set the stage for further landmark change in this country.

Social issues Frederick Douglass addressed:

  • Slavery, civil and human rights
  • Voting rights and equality for women

Social issues that need to be addressed today:

  • Civil Rights – In 1865, the 13th Amendment ended slavery. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act enforced a new law that racial discrimination was illegal. Even though we have made progress, prejudice and racism are still with us. The need to protect the equal rights of all is as important as ever.
  • Voting – In comparison to the election of 2008, about 1.7 million additional Black voters reported going to the polls in 2012, as did about 1.4 million additional Hispanics and about 550,000 additional Asians. The 2008 presidential election was the most racially and ethnically diverse in U.S. history, with nearly one-in-four votes cast by minority voters. Overall, among all racial, ethnic and gender groups, black women had the highest voter turnout rate – a first. But, the necessity to encourage those who are eligible to vote is still needed. Only 64 percent of voting-age citizens participated in the 2008 presidential election. Source