What did Frederick Douglass stand for in the abolitionist movement?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If Frederick Douglass stood for one particular thing in the abolitionist movement, it was the idea that African American men were equal to anyone else.  Douglass served as a reminder of the fact that black men could achieve as much as white men could.

During the antebellum era, most Americans believed that African Americans were intellectually inferior to white people.  This supposed inferiority was one way in which slavery’s supporters justified that system.  They felt that blacks were so much lower than whites that it was acceptable to enslave them.

The abolitionist movement opposed slavery and wanted it to be abolished.  The main actors in the movement were white men like William Lloyd Garrison and white women like Lucretia Mott.  While these white people worked hard to fight slavery, they could not stand as proof of the idea that African Americans were equal to whites.

Frederick Douglass could do this.  He was an African American man who had been born a slave.  He had taught himself to read.  As an adult, he escaped from slavery.  Once free, he continued to educate himself as much as he could. Through his own efforts, he was able to become a strong writer and orator.  The example that he set proved that African Americans could be as good as white people.  This is what Frederick Douglass stood for in the abolitionist movement.  

klizgilson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Fredrick Douglass is one of the most famous figures in the Abolitionist Movement. In 1841, Douglass joined the American Anti Slavery Society after escaping from slavery. In his role at the American Slavery Society, he traveled extensively and delivered speeches and distributed pamphlets and the Liberator which was a news source developed by the American Anti Slavery Society. 

As Douglas toured the country people began to question if he really was a fugitive slave since he was such a great speaker and writer. Because of this, Douglas further contributed to the abolitionist movement by writing the story of his life entitled "Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass". The story of the amazing but difficult life of Douglass provided further ammunition for the Abolitionist Movement. 

rachellopez | Student

Frederick Douglass was a slave before becoming an abolitionist. After he escaped he married Anna and lived in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Douglass soon joined a black church and went to several abolitionist meetings. He also started to follow The Liberator, an abolitionist paper.

Douglass began telling his story, delivering his first speech at the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society's annual convention, and he continued to speak out. In 1845 he published his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. This opened people's eyes to the lives of slaves. 

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