It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

— Frederick Douglass

The most scandalous Frederick Douglass quotes that are little-known but priceless

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. Jan Morris prefers this for himself.


Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.


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 quote Power concedes nothing without a demand.

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.


There is no negro problem. The problem is whether the American people have loyalty enough, honor enough, patriotism enough, to live up to their own constitution


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.


Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.

Frederick Douglass quote If there is no struggle, there is no pro

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.


Power and those in control concede nothing .

.. without a demand. Hey never have and never will... Each and every one of us must keep demanding, must keep fighting, must keep thundering, must keep plowing, must keep on keeping things struggling, must speak out and speak up until justice is served because where there is no justice there is no peace.


No, I make no pretension to patriotism.

So long as my voice can be heard on this or the other side of the Atlantic, I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins.


The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.

Frederick Douglass quote Once you learn to read you will be forev

Once you learn to read you will be forever free.


People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.


A man's rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.


Without culture there can be no growth;

without exertion, no acquisition; without friction, no polish; without labor, no knowledge; without action, no progress; and without conflict, no victory. The man who lies down a fool at night, hoping that he will waken wise in the morning, will rise up in the morning as he laid down in the evening.

Frederick Douglass quote It is easier to build strong children th

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.


About Frederick Douglass

Quotes 222 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

I am a Republican, a black, dyed in the wool Republican, and I never intend to belong to any other party than the party of freedom and progress.


At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed.


Mr. Lincoln was not only a great President, but a great man - too great to be small in anything. In his company I was never in any way reminded of my humble origin, or of my unpopular color.


Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, . . . neither persons nor property will be safe.


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.


Educate your sons and daughters, send them to school, and show them that beside the cartridge box, the ballot box, and the jury box, you also have the knowledge box.


There is a class of people who seem to think that if a man should fall overboard into the sea with a Bible in his pocket it would hardly be possible to drown. I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.


Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.


The soul that is within me no man can degrade.


Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.


The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.


The white man's happiness cannot be purchased by the black man's misery.


I was broken in body, soul, and spirit.

My natural elasticity was crushed, my intellect languished, the disposition to read departed, the cheerful spark that lingered about my eye died; the dark night of slavery closed in upon me; and behold a man transformed into a brute!


Now, take the Constitution according to its plain reading, and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery.


If there's no struggle, there's no progress.


We are Americans, speaking the same language, adopting the same customs, holding the same general opinions... and shall rise and fall with Americans.


I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.


Man's greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done.


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.


[...] allowing only ordinary ability and opportunity, we may explain success mainly by one word and that word is WORK! WORK!! WORK!!! WORK!!!! Not transient and fitful effort, but patient, enduring, honest, unremitting and indefatigable work into which the whole heart is put[...] There is no royal road to perfection.


We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.


Fortune may crowd a man's life with fortunate circumstances and happy opportunities, but they will, as we all know, avail him nothing unless he makes a wise and vigorous use of them.


I didn't know I was a slave until I found out I couldn't do the things I wanted.


Without a struggle, there can be no progress.


The man who will get up will be helped up;

and the man who will not get up will be allowed to stay down.


If I have advocated the cause of the Negro, it is not because I am a Negro, but because I am a man.


Instead of the bright, blue sky of America, I am covered with the soft, grey fog of the Emerald Isle. I breathe, and lo! the chattel becomes a man.


I knew that however bad the Republican party was, the Democratic party was much worse. The elements of which the Republican party was composed gave better ground for the ultimate hope of the success of the colored mans cause than those of the Democratic party.


You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.


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.


Let us render the tyrant no aid; let us not hold the light by which he can trace the footprints of our flying brother.


In this denial of the right to participate in government, not merely the degradation of woman and the perpetuation of a great injustice happens, but the maiming and repudiation of one-half of the moral and intellectual power of the government of the world.


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.


To suppress free speech is a double wrong.

It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.


The silver trump of freedom roused in my soul eternal wakefulness.


A gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me.