The Shape of a Life
In the great struggle now progressing for the freedom and elevation of our people, we should be found at work with all our might, resolved that no man, or set of men shall be more abundant in labors, according to the measure of our ability, than ourselves.
-- Douglass, West India Emancipation," 4 August 1857
I do now and always have attached more importance to manhood than to mere kinship or identity with one variety of the human family. Race, in the popular sense, is narrow; humanity is broad. The one is special, the other is universal. The one is transient, the other permanent.
-- Douglass, Speech at dedication of Manassas ( Virginia) Industrial School, 3 September 1894
I have seen dark hours in my life, and I have seen the darkness gradually disappearing, and the light gradually increasing. One by one, I have seen obstacles removed, errors corrected, prejudices softened, proscriptions relinquished, and my people advancing in all the elements that make up the sum of general welfare. I remember that God reigns in eternity, and that, whatever delays, disappointments and discouragements may come, truth, justice, liberty and humanity will prevail.
-- Douglass, 7 December 1890