Frases de Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass Foto
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Frederick Douglass

Fecha de nacimiento: 14. Febrero 1818
Fecha de muerte: 20. Febrero 1895
Otros nombres: பிரெடரிக் டக்ளஸ், فردریک داقلاس, ფრედერიკ დუგლასი, Φρέντερικ Ντάγκλας

Frederick Douglass fue un escritor, editor y orador abolicionista estadounidense, famoso como reformador social. Fue conocido como El Sabio de Anacostia o El León de Anacostia, y es uno de los escritores afroamericanos más importantes de su época y de la historia de los Estados Unidos.

„Es más fácil construir niños fuertes que arreglar hombres rotos.“

—  Frederick Douglass

Fuente: Citado en Bilbao, Álvaro. El cerebro del niño explicado a los padres. Editorial Plataforma, 2015. ISBN 9788416429578.

„Sabía que, por malo que fuera el partido republicano, el partido demócrata era mucho peor. Los elementos de los que se compuso el partido republicano dieron mejores condiciones para la esperanza final del éxito de la causa del hombre de color que las del partido demócrata.“

—  Frederick Douglass

En aquella época el partido demócrata era el que luchaba por el mantenimiento de la esclvitud, y su mayoría de votos provenía de los estados esclavistas del sur de Estados Unidos.
Original: «I knew that however bad the Republican party was, the Democratic party was much worse. The elements of which the Republican party was composed gave better ground for the ultimate hope of the success of the colored man's cause than those of the Democratic party».
Fuente: The Frederick Douglass Papers: Autobiographical Writings, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. Editor Jesse S. Crisler. Editorial Yale University Press, 2012. ISBN 9780300176346. p. 408.

„Tu maldad y crueldad cometidas a este respecto con tus semejantes, son más grandes que todas las heridas que has puesto sobre mi espalda o la de ellos. Es un ultraje contra el alma, una guerra contra el espíritu inmortal, y uno por el cual debes dar cuenta en la sala del tribunal de nuestro Padre y Creador común.“

—  Frederick Douglass

Carta dirigida a su antiguo maestro Thomas Auld.
Original: «Your wickedness and cruelty committed in this respect on your fellow creatures, are greater than all the stripes you have laid upon my back or theirs. It is an outrage upon the soul, a war upon the immortal spirit, and one for which you must give account at the bar of our common Father and Creator».
Fuente: Douglass, Frederick. The Frederick Douglass Papers: Correspondence. 1842-1852, Volumen 1. Editorial Yale University Press, 2009. ISBN 9780300135602. p. 315.

„Sé que hay una esperanza en la religión; Sé que hay fe y sé que hay una oración sobre religión y necesaria para ello, pero Dios es más glorificado cuando hay paz en la tierra y buena voluntad hacia los hombres.“

—  Frederick Douglass

Original: «I know there is a hope in religion; I know there is faith and I know there is prayer about religion and necessary to it, but God is most glorified when there is peace on earth and good will towards men».
Fuente: The Cambridge Companion to Frederick Douglass. Editor Maurice S. Lee. Editorial Cambridge University Press, 2009. ISBN 9780521889230. p. 70.

„No pueden degradar a Frederick Douglass. Ningún hombre puede degradar el alma que reside dentro de mí. Yo no soy el que está siendo degradado a causa de este tratamiento, sino aquellos que me lo están infligiendo.“

—  Frederick Douglass

Original: «They cannot degrade Frederick Douglass. The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are inflicting it upon me».
Fuente: Slavery: Not Forgiven, Never Forgotten – The Most Powerful Slave Narratives, Historical Documents & Influential Novels: The Underground Railroad, Memoirs of Frederick Douglass, 12 Years a Slave, Uncle Tom's Cabin, History of Abolitionism, Lynch Law, Civil Rights Acts, New Amendments and much more. Autores Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, Lydia Maria Child, Harriet E. Wilson, y muchos más.. Editorial e-artnow, 2017 ISBN 9788026873754.

„Los hombres tienen su elección en este mundo. Pueden ser ángeles, o pueden ser demonios. En la visión apocalíptica, Juan describe una guerra en el cielo. Basta con despojar esa visión de sus preciosas cortinas orientales, despojarla de sus ornamentos brillantes y celestiales, vestirla con el lenguaje simple y familiar del sentido común, y tendrá ante usted el eterno conflicto entre lo correcto y lo incorrecto, lo bueno y lo malo, la libertad y la esclavitud, la verdad y la falsedad, la luz gloriosa del amor y la espantosa oscuridad del egoísmo y el pecado humano. El corazón humano es un lugar de guerra constante … Lo que sucede en los corazones humanos individuales, a menudo tiene lugar entre naciones y entre individuos de la misma nación.“

—  Frederick Douglass

Original: «Men have their choice in this world. They can be angels, or they may be demons. In the apocalyptic vision, John describes a war in heaven. You have only to strip that vision of its gorgeous Oriental drapery, divest it of its shining and celestial ornaments, clothe it in the simple and familiar language of common sense, and you will have before you the eternal conflict between right and wrong, good and evil, liberty and slavery, truth and falsehood, the glorious light of love, and the appalling darkness of human selfishness and sin. The human heart is a seat of constant war… Just what takes place in individual human hearts, often takes place between nations, and between individuals of the same nation».
Fuente: Blight, David W. Frederick Douglass' Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee. Editorial LSU Press, 1991. ISBN 9780807117248. p. 110.

„El hombre que tiene razón es la mayoría. Nosotros, que tenemos a Dios y a la conciencia de nuestro lado, tenemos una mayoría en contra del universo.“

—  Frederick Douglass

Original: «The man who is right is a majority. We, who have God and conscience on our side, have a majority against the universe».
Fuente: Frederick Douglass. Editorial Ardent Media, 1884. p. 212.

„El derecho no tiene sexo, la verdad no es de color, Dios es el Padre de todos nosotros, y todos somos hermanos.“

—  Frederick Douglass

Original: «Right is of no sex, Truth is of no color, God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren».
Fuente: The Frederick Douglass Encyclopedia. Editores Julius E. Thompson, James L. Conyers Jr., Nancy J. Dawson. Edición ilustrada. Editorial ABC-CLIO, 2009. ISBN 9780313385599. p. 149.

Citát „It's easier to build strong children then repair broken men.“

„It's easier to build strong children then repair broken men.“

—  Frederick Douglass

Variante: It is easier to build strong men, than to repair broken ones.
Fuente: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

„I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence.“

—  Frederick Douglass

Variante: I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence.
Fuente: 1840s, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845), Ch. 5
Contexto: I look upon my departure from Colonel Lloyd's plantation as one of the most interesting events of my life. It is possible, and even quite probable, that but for the mere circumstance of being removed from that plantation to Baltimore, I should have to-day, instead of being here seated by my own table, in the enjoyment of freedom and the happiness of home, writing this Narrative, been confined in the galling chains of slavery. Going to live at Baltimore laid the foundation, and opened the gateway, to all my subsequent prosperity. I have ever regarded it as the first plain manifestation of that kind providence which has ever since attended me, and marked my life with so many favors. I regarded the selection of myself as being somewhat remarkable. There were a number of slave children that might have been sent from the plantation to Baltimore. There were those younger, those older, and those of the same age. I was chosen from among them all, and was the first, last, and only choice.
I may be deemed superstitions, and even egotistical, in regarding this event as a special interposition of divine Providence in my favor. But I should be false to the earliest sentiments of my soul, if I suppressed the opinion. I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence. From my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom. This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise.

„I hardly need say that, in speaking of Ireland, I shall be influenced by prejudices in favor of America. I think my circumstances all forbid that. I have no end to serve, no creed to uphold, no government to defend“

—  Frederick Douglass

1840s, Letter to William Lloyd Garrison (1846)
Contexto: I am now about to take leave of the Emerald Isle, for Glasgow, Scotland. I have been here a little more than four months. Up to this time, I have given no direct expression of the views, feelings and opinions which I have formed, respecting the character and condition of the people in this land. I have refrained thus purposely. I wish to speak advisedly, and in order to do this, I have waited till I trust experience has brought my opinions to an intelligent maturity. I have been thus careful, not because I think what I may say will have much effect in shaping the opinions of the world, but because whatever of influence I may possess, whether little or much, I wish it to go in the right direction, and according to truth. I hardly need say that, in speaking of Ireland, I shall be influenced by prejudices in favor of America. I think my circumstances all forbid that. I have no end to serve, no creed to uphold, no government to defend; and as to nation, I belong to none. I have no protection at home, or resting-place abroad. The land of my birth welcomes me to her shores only as a slave, and spurns with contempt the idea of treating me differently. So that I am an outcast from the society of my childhood, and an outlaw in the land of my birth.

„I was standing in the crowd by the side of Mrs. Thomas J. Dorsey, when Mr. Lincoln touched Mr. Johnson, and pointed me out to him. The first expression which came to his face, and which I think was the true index of his heart, was one of bitter contempt and aversion. Seeing that I observed him, he tried to assume a more friendly appearance; but it was too late; it was useless to close the door when all within had been seen. His first glance was the frown of the man, the second was the bland and sickly smile of the demagogue. I turned to Mrs. Dorsey and said, 'Whatever Andrew Johnson may be, he certainly is no friend of our race'.“

—  Frederick Douglass

Fuente: 1880s, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881), p. 355.
Contexto: On this inauguration day, while waiting for the opening of the ceremonies, I made a discovery in regard to the vice president — Andrew Johnson. There are moments in the lives of most men, when the doors of their souls are open, and unconsciously to themselves, their true characters may be read by the observant eye. It was at such an instant I caught a glimpse of the real nature of this man, which all subsequent developments proved true. I was standing in the crowd by the side of Mrs. Thomas J. Dorsey, when Mr. Lincoln touched Mr. Johnson, and pointed me out to him. The first expression which came to his face, and which I think was the true index of his heart, was one of bitter contempt and aversion. Seeing that I observed him, he tried to assume a more friendly appearance; but it was too late; it was useless to close the door when all within had been seen. His first glance was the frown of the man, the second was the bland and sickly smile of the demagogue. I turned to Mrs. Dorsey and said, 'Whatever Andrew Johnson may be, he certainly is no friend of our race'.

„An old speech of mine delivered fourteen years ago was read to show — I know not what. Perhaps it was to show that I am not infallible. If so, I have to say in defense, that I never pretended to be“

—  Frederick Douglass

1860s, The Constitution of the United States: Is It Pro-Slavery or Anti-Slavery? (1860)
Contexto: The American people in the Northern States have helped to enslave the black people. Their duty will not have been done till they give them back their plundered rights. Reference was made at the City Hall to my having once held other opinions, and very different opinions to those I have now expressed. An old speech of mine delivered fourteen years ago was read to show — I know not what. Perhaps it was to show that I am not infallible. If so, I have to say in defense, that I never pretended to be.

„Let us render the tyrant no aid; let us not hold the light by which he can trace the footprints of our flying brother.“

—  Frederick Douglass

Fuente: 1840s, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845), Ch. 11

„The emperor hold upon the Chinamen may be strong, but the Chinaman's hold upon himself is stronger“

—  Frederick Douglass

1860s, Our Composite Nationality (1869)
Contexto: Men differ widely as to the magnitude of this potential Chinese immigration. The fact that by the late treaty with China we bind ourselves to receive immigrants from that country only as the subjects of the Emperor, and by the construction at least are bound not to naturalize them, and the further fact that Chinamen themselves have a superstitious devotion to their country and an aversion to permanent location in any other, contracting even to have their bones carried back, should they die abroad, and from the fact that many have returned to China, and the still more stubborn fact that resistance to their coming has increased rather than diminished, it is inferred that we shall never have a large Chinese population in America. This, however, is not my opinion. It may be admitted that these reasons, and others, may check and moderate the tide of immigration; but it is absurd to think that they will do more than this. Counting their number now by the thousands, the time is not remote when they will count them by the millions. The emperor hold upon the Chinamen may be strong, but the Chinaman's hold upon himself is stronger.

„Whatever the future may have in store for us, one thing is certain; this new revolution in human thought will never go backward. When a great truth once gets abroad in the world, no power on earth can imprison it, or prescribe its limits, or suppress it. It is bound to go on till it becomes the thought of the world.“

—  Frederick Douglass

1880s, Speech to the International Council of Women (1888)
Contexto: Whatever the future may have in store for us, one thing is certain; this new revolution in human thought will never go backward. When a great truth once gets abroad in the world, no power on earth can imprison it, or prescribe its limits, or suppress it. It is bound to go on till it becomes the thought of the world. Such a truth is woman’s right to equal liberty with man. She was born with it. It was hers before she comprehended it. It is inscribed upon all the powers and faculties of her soul, and no custom, law, or usage can ever destroy it. Now that it has got fairly fixed in the minds of the few, it is bound to become fixed in the minds of the many, and be supported at last by a great cloud of witnesses, which no man can number and no power can withstand.

„We swear by a book whose most authoritative command is to swear not at all. It is not of so much importance what a man swears by, as what he swears to, and if the Chinaman is so true to his convictions that he cannot be tempted or even coerced into so popular a custom as swearing by the Bible“

—  Frederick Douglass

1860s, Our Composite Nationality (1869)
Contexto: The next objection to the Chinese is that he cannot be induced to swear by the Bible. This is to me one of his best recommendations. The American people will swear by any thing in the heaven above or the earth beneath. We are a nation of swearers. We swear by a book whose most authoritative command is to swear not at all. It is not of so much importance what a man swears by, as what he swears to, and if the Chinaman is so true to his convictions that he cannot be tempted or even coerced into so popular a custom as swearing by the Bible, he gives good evidence of his integrity and of his veracity. Let the Chinaman come; he will help to augment the national wealth; he will help to develop our boundless resources; he will help to pay off our national debt; he will help to lighten the burden of our national taxation; he will give us the benefit of his skill as manufacturer and as a tiller of the soil, in which he is unsurpassed.

„In thinking of America, I sometimes find myself admiring her bright blue sky — her grand old woods — her fertile fields — her beautiful rivers — her mighty lakes, and star-crowned mountains. But my rapture is soon checked, my joy is soon turned to mourning.“

—  Frederick Douglass

1840s, Letter to William Lloyd Garrison (1846)
Contexto: In thinking of America, I sometimes find myself admiring her bright blue sky — her grand old woods — her fertile fields — her beautiful rivers — her mighty lakes, and star-crowned mountains. But my rapture is soon checked, my joy is soon turned to mourning. When I remember that all is cursed with the infernal spirit of slaveholding, robbery and wrong, — when I remember that with the waters of her noblest rivers, the tears of my brethren are borne to the ocean, disregarded and forgotten, and that her most fertile fields drink daily of the warm blood of my outraged sisters, I am filled with unutterable loathing.

„The negro worked and took his pay in religion and the lash“

—  Frederick Douglass

1860s, Our Composite Nationality (1869)
Contexto: Companies and associations may yet be formed to promote this Mongolian invasion. The loss of the negro is to gain them the Chinese, and if the thing works well, abolition, in their opinion, will have proved itself to be another blessing in disguise. To the statesman it will mean Southern independence. To the pulpit, it will be the hand of Providence, and bring about the time of the universal dominion of the Christian religion. To all but the Chinaman and the negro it will mean wealth, ease and luxury. But alas, for all the selfish invention and dreams of men! The Chinaman will not long be willing to wear the cast off shoes of the negro, and, if he refuses, there will be trouble again. The negro worked and took his pay in religion and the lash. The Chinaman is a different article and will want the cash. He may, like the negro, accept Christianity, but, unlike the negro, he will not care to pay for it in labor. He had the Golden Rule in substance five hundred years before the coming of Christ, and has notions of justice that are not to be confused by any.

„We shall neither die out, nor be driven out; but shall go with this people, either as a testimony against them, or as an evidence in their favor throughout their generations.“

—  Frederick Douglass

Essay in North Star (November 1858); as quoted in Faces at the Bottom of the Well : The Permanence of Racism (1992) by Derrick Bell, p. 40
1850s
Contexto: We deem it a settled point that the destiny of the colored man is bound up with that of the white people of this country. … We are here, and here we are likely to be. To imagine that we shall ever be eradicated is absurd and ridiculous. We can be remodified, changed, assimilated, but never extinguished. We repeat, therefore, that we are here; and that this is our country; and the question for the philosophers and statesmen of the land ought to be, What principles should dictate the policy of the action toward us? We shall neither die out, nor be driven out; but shall go with this people, either as a testimony against them, or as an evidence in their favor throughout their generations.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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