Frederick Douglass’s Radical Abolitionism for Our Times

Manisha Sinha
Mar 4, 2019 - 5:00
Frederick Douglass’s Radical Abolitionism for Our Times

Yes, Mr. Trump, Frederick Douglass has “done an amazing job” addressing our current chaos. His radical abolitionist commitments resonate powerfully today and foster resistance to the words and actions of your administration. Douglass called slaveholders the hateful enemies of the country, and the Confederacy an experiment in barbarism. The caging of migrant children and separation from their parents is also barbaric and evokes the domestic slave trade of the pre-Civil War...

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8 Replies to “Frederick Douglass’s Radical Abolitionism for Our Times”

  1. This intro to Douglass contemporizes him. I was not aware of his study of the Haitian revolution. I would be very interested to learn more about the history of Haiti post-revolution and the forces that have led to its failed state status.

    1. Haiti’s subsequent history of political instability and poverty was aggravated by the policies of slaveholding nations that isolated it and the payment of a huge indemnity to France for diplomatic recognition. The US too would interfere in Haitain affairs in the twentieth century. This is not too minimize the problems of Haiti but to put them in their proper context. In the nineteenth century, most abolitionists black and white, looked to it for inspiration. I would read CLR James and Laurent Du Bois on the Haitian Revolution and its world historical impact.

  2. Agreed. Douglass’s The North Star motto, “Right is of No Color, Truth is of No Sex” is as relevant today as it was then. Thank your for showcasing Douglass’s continued wisdom and importance.

  3. “It’s commonplace for moderates to decry political correctness, identity politics, and incivility in protest. 19th-century abolitionists, too, faced criticism for being uncivil (to slaveholders) and “fanatical.” But they, like some modern-day activists, bore the brunt of racist mob violence and state repression.“
    Yes. And we keep on.

  4. I’m so very grateful for your hyperlinks. They help me keep up in the conversation without having to wonder what I’ve missed when I don’t understand a reference (such as Trump’s Frederick Douglass – amazing job quote). I look forward to reading more of your work.

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