Frederick Douglass

b. Feb 1818, Talbot County, MD .... d. 20 Feb 1895, Washington, DC

Abolitionist; journalist; orator; statesman

Escaping from slavery at the age of 20, Frederick Douglass rose to become one of the most effective and righteous moral voices of all time. He was inspired by abolitionist activist and journalist William Lloyd Garrison to begin speaking out against slavery, and began writing for Garrison’s newspaper The Liberator. Douglass was a natural communicator, and a powerful public speaker; his autobiography became an international bestseller in 1845. Two years later, Douglass launched his own newspaper. The North Star presented African-American voices advocating for emancipation as well as for women’s rights, and argued that the denial of equal rights was incompatible with the Constitution of the United States. Douglass’ publication soon became the country's best-known abolitionist paper, and it helped spread Douglass’ political views and reputation for moral leadership across the country.

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey