Letter from Frederick Douglass to Harriet Tubman, 1868 : Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman Historical Society

Letter from Frederick Douglass to Harriet Tubman, 1868

Source: Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman by Sarah Hopkins Bradford. Rochester, August 29, 1868

Dear Harriet: I am glad to know that the story of your eventful life has been written by a kind lady, and that the same is soon to be published. You ask for what you do not need when you call upon me for a word of commendation. I need such words from you far more than you can need them from me, especially where your superior labors and devotion to the cause of the lately enslaved of our land are known as I know them. The difference between us is very marked. Most that I have done and suffered in the service of our cause has been in public, and I have received much encouragement at every step of the way.

You, on the other hand, have labored in a private way. I have wrought in the day – you in the night. I have had the applause of the crowd and the satisfaction that comes of being approved by the multitude, while the most that you have done has been witnessed by a few trembling, scarred, and foot-sore bondmen and women, whom you have led out of the house of bondage, and whose heartfelt, “God bless you,” has been your only reward. The midnight sky and the silent stars have been the witnesses of your devotion to freedom and of your heroism.

Excepting John Brown – of sacred memory – I know of no one who has willingly encountered more perils and hardships to serve our enslaved people than you have. Much that you have done would seem improbable to those who do not know you as I know you. It is to me a great pleasure and a great privilege to bear testimony for your character and your works, and to say to those to whom you may come, that I regard you in every way truthful and trustworthy.Your friend,Frederick Douglass

Source: Letter from Frederick Douglass to Harriet Tubman, 1868 : Harriet Tubman

Suffragettes were some of our first women’s historians. But they erased the vital work of black women. – The Lily

“Consistent with the deep-seated prejudices held by most white suffragists, Catt included no plaques to commemorate the thousands of African American women who actively participated in the struggle. Regional chauvinism was an issue as well: All the domestic suffragists were from the East Coast, with New York State vastly overrepresented. There was no one from California or the West, nor anyone from the South, unless you counted the Grimké sisters who left their native South Carolina to settle in Philadelphia and later New Jersey.

For too long, the history of how women won the right to vote has closely paralleled Catt’s suffrage forest: top-heavy and dominated by a few iconic leaders, all white and native-born. Moving away from that outdated approach reveals a broader, more diverse suffrage history waiting to be told, one that shifts the frame of reference away from the national leadership to highlight the women — and occasionally men — who made women’s suffrage happen through actions large and small, courageous and quirky, in states and communities across the nation. Suffrage activists campaigned in church parlors and the halls of Congress, but also in graveyards on the outskirts of college campuses, on the steps of the Treasury building and even on top of Mount Rainier.”

Source: Suffragettes were some of our first women’s historians. But they erased the vital work of black women. – The Lily

Inspirational and Thought-Provoking Quotes From 14 Influential Black Leaders

ATLANTA BLACKSTAR

Inspirational and Thought-Provoking Quotes From 14 Influential Black Leaders
October 4, 2013 | Posted by 

black leaders mlk Martin Luther King Jr.

-Activist, Leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement-

“Many of the ugly pages of American history have been obscured and forgotten. A society is always eager to cover misdeeds with a cloak of forgetfulness, but no society can fully repress an ugly past when the ravages persist into the present. America owes a debt of justice which it has only begun to pay. If it loses the will to finish or slackens in its determination, history will recall its crimes and the country that would be great will lack the most indispensable element of greatness — justice.”

“Where Do We Go from Here : Chaos or Community?” (1967), p. 109

“If a city has a 30 percent Negro population, then it is logical to assume that Negroes should have at least 30 percent of the jobs in any particular company, and jobs in all categories rather than only in menial areas.”

Interview in Playboy magazine, (1968)

black leaders NnamdiBenjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe

-First President of Nigeria-

“There is plenty of room at the top because very few people care to travel beyond the average route. And so most of us seem satisfied to remain within the confines of mediocrity.”

“My Odyssey: An Autobiography,” (1970)

black leaders harrietHarriet Tubman

-Abolitionist-

“I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.
I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.”

 ”Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience” (2003) by Henry Louis Gates and Kwame Anthony Appiah, p. 299

black leaders marcusMarcus Garvey

-Global Leader in the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism Movements-

“We are living in a world that is scientifically arranged in which everything done by those who control it is done through system; proper arrangement, proper organization, are among some of the organized methods used to control the world.  The weaker peoples before were the Chinese, the East Indians and the Negroes.  The Chinese have organized national resistance; the East Indians have also organized national resistance.  Therefore, only the Negro who is exposed to the most ruthless exploitation, and is left to be exploited in the future.  What will become of the Negro in another five hundred years if he does not organize now to develop and to protect himself? The answer is that he will be exterminated for the purpose of making room for the other races that will be strong enough to hold their own against the opposition of all and sundry.”

“It is unfortunate that we should find ourselves at this time the only disorganized group. Others have had the advantage of organization for centuries, so what seems to them unnecessary, from a racial point of view, becomes necessary to us, who have had to labor all along under the disadvantage of being scattered without a racial aim or purpose.”

“The traitor of other races is generally confined to the mediocre or irresponsible individual, but, unfortunately, the traitors among the Negro race are generally to be found among the men with the highest place in education and society, the fellows who call themselves leaders.”

“Message to the people: The Course of African Philosophy,” (1986)

 

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