The exact date of Frederick Douglass’s birth is unknown. We know the likely year, 1818, from the slave census of his master Aaron Anthony, who may also have been his father. His likely birth month, February, is an estimate. In his later years, Douglass chose to celebrate his birthday on February 14th because his mother Harriet once called him ‘my Valentine’.
Douglass is one of my favorite people that ever inhabited the world. He was born into slavery in Maryland, was mostly self-educated, escaped to freedom when he was 20, married the loving and strong Anna Murray, and became one of the most eloquent and influential advocates for civil rights in American, and, indeed, world history. He was an author, orator, preacher, activist, statesman, patriarch, musician, and world traveler. Not only was he a motivated, resourceful, brilliant, complicated, and incredibly fascinating person, I think he was oh-so-handsome too.
Here are a few links to some articles and works of art by, about, and inspired by the great Frederick Douglass, including my own work.
7 Haunts of Frederick Douglass in New York City – by Amy Cools for Untapped Cities
Frederick Douglass – by Ronald Sundstrom for Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Frederick Douglass and a Valentine, Emily Dickinson and a Snake – by Rob Velella for The American Literary Blog
Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia – by John Muller; this is my favorite blog about Douglass
Frederick’s Song – Douglass’ words arranged and set to music by SayReal and Richard Fink
From Oakland to Maryland, New York, and Massachusetts I Go, in Search of Frederick Douglass – History of ideas travel series by Amy Cools for Ordinary Philosophy
Interview with Ken Morris, Anti-Slavery Activist – by Ken Morris and Amy Cools for Ordinary Philosophy Podcast
Interview with Leigh Fought on Anna and Frederick Douglass – by Leigh Fought and Amy Cools for Ordinary Philosophy Podcast
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