February 14: Frederick Douglass
Although Douglass’ actual birthdate is unknown, he chose February 14 as the day to celebrate his birth, recalling that his mother called him her “Little Valentine.” Explore our teaching collection related to this important African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman.
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My Bondage and My Freedom is an autobiographical slave narrative written by Frederick Douglass and published in 1855. It is the second of three autobiographies written by Douglass, and is mainly an expansion of his first (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass), discussing in greater detail his transition from bondage to liberty. Douglass, a former slave, following his liberation went on to become a prominent abolitionist, speaker, author, and publisher. Lit2Go
Ah, Douglass, we have fall’n on evil days,
Such days as thou, not even thou didst know,
When thee, the eyes of that harsh long ago
Saw, salient, at the cross of devious ways,
And all the country heard thee with amaze.
Not ended then, the passionate ebb and flow,
The awful tide that battled to and fro;
We ride amid a tempest of dispraise.
Now, when the waves of swift dissension swarm,
And Honor, the strong pilot, lieth stark,
Oh, for thy voice high–sounding o’er the storm,
For thy strong arm to guide the shivering bark,
The blast–defying power of thy form,
To give us comfort through the lonely dark.