The Voice for Social Justice and Equality: Frederick Douglass
Last Monday night at 6 PM, Bailey Library hosted a presentation by Dr. Christophas Walker. Longtime associate of the Frederick Douglass Institute, Dr. Walker spoke of the impressive life of Frederick Douglass, slave, writer, and the voice for social justice and equality.
As an infant, Douglass was separated from his mother and sold into slavery. Although illegal at that time to teach slaves to read or write, the wife of Frederick’s first slave owner began teaching him to read. When her husband discovered this, he stopped it; but, Frederick’s taste for learning could not be sated easily. He became skillful at trading things to school boys in exchange for using their textbooks and furthering his reading skills.
Eventually Douglass escaped to the North and worked alongside Abraham Lincoln during his term as president, addressing the treatment of black men in the army, as well as, slavery. Frederick spoke out for social justice and equality, was a supporter of women’s rights, and often spoke on behalf of women's suffrage groups. When Lincoln died, former slave, Frederick Douglass was present at his funeral.
As Dr. Walker continued his presentation, he addressed current human rights issues, such as gender inequality, and domestic violence by sports heroes, making his audience aware that almost 200 years after slavery was abolished, we still are fighting for social justice and equality.
For further information about Frederick Douglass, his life, and slavery, check out Bailey Library’s Frederick Douglass Pan African Studies Collection of 10,000 titles.