“Carlyle’s endorsement of human sympathy in his description of poor women preparing the family meal in small cottages and his conviction that his work should somehow be for them, demonstrate humility and faith. Yet he would come to approve slavery, militarism and dictatorship.”
—Prof Alan Riach on the Victorian values of Thomas Carlyle & his contemporaries
#Scottish #Victorian #literature #history #19thCentury #slavery #racism
Thomas Carlyle: historian, writer, racist
“His writings show a strong personal conviction and concern for socioeconomic inequalities […] However, Carlyle’s humanitarian concerns only extended to the white working classes and his opinions of people of colour and views on slavery were shockingly expressed…”
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Excerpt from the introduction
"I offer this study with the greatest reverence for those who suffered almost unthinkable violence, terror, and death, in the firm belief that we must remember that such horrors have always been, and remain, central to the making of global capitalism"
Perhaps the most important aspect of this historical recovery is what it results in: #reperations? recognition of our complicity in the continuing problems of post-colonial countries?
This still looks like the beginning of a long road, not even its half-way point.
now listening to "maladies of empire: how colonialism, slavery, and war transformed medicine" by jim downs.
from the intro:
"doctors responded to medical crises that erupted from the international slave trade, colonial expansion, and warfare. in treating the populations that were created by these conditions, military and colonial doctors developed theories about the cause, spread, and prevention of disease. the process of centralizing & analyzing medical information about the health of large populations unfolded during the same period that governments in the west were developing mechanisms to wield authority over populations based on new understandings of biology.
'maladies of empire' reveals how slavery, colonialism, and war - often treated separately in scholarly studies - had common features from the vantage point of medical professionals.
these episodes produced large, captive populations. slaveships, plantations, and battlefields created social arrangements and built environments that allowed physicians to observe how disease spread, and prompted them to investigate the social conditions that led to the outbreak of disease.
the increased appearance of these settings around the world between 1756 and 1866 gave way to a proliferation of medical studies that contributed to the emergence of epidemiology."
people say "colonialism is over! slavery is over!" but EVEN IF that were true, we *still live* in the world created by colonialism and slavery. ignoring this fact won't make it go away.
on a personal note, back when i worked at "PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases" (a scholarly journal for neglected tropical diseases), i learned that one of the main institutions for the study of tropical diseases was the london school of hygiene and tropical medicine. "that sounds like a kinda weird school name", one might think. and to this american's ears it certainly sounded strange... but once you know the history it's not so strange.
the school has that name because for physicians in england, they were dealing with soldiers & sailors who were getting stuff like malaria while out conquering the world. so that's why there's a whole field of "tropical medicine."
i absolutely do not mean to disparage anyone who is affiliated with tropical medicine or LSHTM. i worked with scientists who worked there and i deeply respect their work and commitment. my only point is that it's important to remember that almost all of us are still living in the house that colonialism, empire, and slavery built, and to act accordingly.
(as a footnote, LSHTM has a very detailed timeline of their history on their website: https://www.lshtm.ac.uk/research/research-action/lshtm-120/historical-timeline fun fact: the "hygiene" part of the name was added later! it started out as the london school of tropical medicine.)
The Tragedy of Droids in Star Wars.
Today in Labor History December 2, 1867: British author Charles Dickens gave his first public reading in the United States at Tremont Temple in Boston. He described his impressions of the U.S. in a travelogue, “American Notes for General Circulation.” In Notes, he condemned slavery and correlated the emancipation of the poor in England with the abolition of slavery abroad. Despite his abolitionist sentiments, some modern commentators have criticized him for not condemning Britain’s harsh crackdown during the 1860s Morant Bay rebellion in Jamaica. During his American visit, he also spent a month in New York, giving lectures, and arguing for international copyright laws and against the pirating of his work in America. The press ridiculed him, saying he should be grateful for his popularity here.
Today in Labor History December 2, 1859: The authorities hanged abolitionist John Brown in Charleston, Virginia for his leadership of a plot to incite a slave rebellion. Victor Hugo, who was living in exile on Guernsey, tried to obtain a pardon for him. His open letter was published by the press on both sides of the Atlantic. His plea failed, of course. On the day of his execution, John Brown rode in a furniture wagon, on top of his own coffin, through a crowd of 2,000 soldiers, to the gallows. The soldiers included future Confederate general Stonewall Jackson and John Wilkes Booth. Walt Whitman described the execution in his poem “Year of Meteors.”
I didn’t know today was Slavery abolition day, but serendipity lead me to the Slavery Abolition Memorial of Nantes. Worth visiting for its content and architecture.
#OnThisDay Benazir Bhutto became 1st female Prime Minister of a Muslim country (1988).
Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of France in Paris (1804).
Today is International Day for the Abolition of #Slavery.
"The riches amassed became the seed money for the industrial revolutions that catapulted Europe and, eventually, North America into economic ascendancy. Simultaneously, the poisonous seed of ideological racism was cultivated to justify this exploitation.
The 18th and 19th centuries saw the emergence of 'scientific racism,' an attempt to provide justifications for racial hierarchies, with Europeans at the apex and Africans at the nadir."
"The four centuries of the transatlantic slave trade shaped the spectre of racism and are woven into the fabric of global development. Threaded through the complexity of socioeconomic disparities is the narrative of the global north’s prosperity – and the global south’s poverty."
~ Kenneth Mohammed
'Chinese prisoner’s ID card apparently found in lining of Regatta coat'
'Handwritten notes from Chinese prisoners occasionally turn up in consumer products, such as in 2019, when a note written in English was found by a six-year-old girl in a Christmas card sold by Tesco.'
Why are we so keen to sign trade deals with China?
"An ID card that appears to belong to a #Chinese prisoner was found inside the lining of a coat from the British brand #Regatta, raising concerns that the clothing was manufactured using prison #labour."
"The card was found inside a plastic holder embossed with the words: “Produced by the Ministry of Justice prisons bureau.”
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Enslaved Christians: #Black Church Members in the Era of Cotton Mather Tickets, Thu, Nov 30, 2023 at 7:00 PM | Eventbrite
In St Louis, the Catholic archdiocese’s buried links to slavery are unearthed: “its first two bishops — Joseph Rosati and Peter Kenrick — held a number of African Americans in bondage while serving as prelates of the Church.” @natemup #slavery
Lloyds of London archives show how important the City was to transatlantic slavery
***This article contains a description of brutal treatment and death***
@micchiato Very true — the U.S. constitution of 1787 entrenched Black enslavement more firmly, just the opposite of its claim to "establish Justice …. and secure the Blessings of Liberty."
Unfortunately, even after 1866, former enslavers continued in the executive office for another 11 years.
CONVO: Knowledge, History, and Power
Nikole Hannah-Jones and Laura Trevelyan Moderated by Natasha Lightfoot, PhD
Wed Dec 6 1:15
at the UN and online
Organizer: UN Program on Transatlantic Slave Trade & #Slavery in collaboration with Universities Studying Slavery Consortium.
Conversation aims to unveil the power of knowledge in addressing racism, racial discrimination and white supremacy.
Another essay I want to highlight from my GIGANTIC #lrb backlog is this beautiful essay remembering the lives of enslaved Black people & People of Color in 17th century Britain.
#slavery #history #empire
Today in Labor History November 26, 1883: Abolitionist, women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth died on this date in Battle Creek, Michigan. She escaped slavery in 1826, with her infant daughter, and then sued her former master in 1828 to win the freedom of her son. She won the lawsuit, making her the first black woman to win such a case against a white man. She had grown up in New York, with Dutch as her first language. However, she became a powerful public speaker in English. In 1851, she gave her “Ain’t I a Woman” speech to the Ohio Women's Rights Convention. During the Civil War, she helped recruit black soldiers into the Union Army.
excellent, excellent lecture: "Slaving Science: Natural Historical Collecting and the British Slave Trade" by Dr. Kate Murphy
context: biological specimens of plants, insects, birds, skeletons, etc., were crucial to early western science. those early scientists were on an encyclopedic mission (wanting to know about all kinds of stuff from all over the world) & very few people got to travel, so receiving a specimen of, like, an ostrich egg from very far away could be a huge deal for an early scientist in england.
these specimens were often pulled together into collections owned by wealthy collectors, and many of these private collections formed the starting collections of large national institutions that are for-the-most-part still around, and still educating millions of people...like the british museum.
in fact, if you ever went to a museum of natural history & saw biological specimens, you've been a part of this history (in a small way).
herbaria were important places for the development of early *botanical* knowledge. i've actually been to an herbarium! at duke university, of all places. it was a wonderful place that smelled like tea, where thousands of dried plant samples were pressed between pages of huge books.
anyway, back when western scientists were developing taxonomies & basic understandings of plant biology (like the various parts of plants & their functions), herbaria were really important.
yea, it might suck to try & understand what's going on with a flattened, dried, little patch of some grass, but at least you could look at the actual *plant* & not just a drawing.
also, herbaria still provide value in botany because you can take small samples & do genetic analysis, or whatever other kind of analysis you want. the fact that they're historic specimens means that a scientist can do historic analysis as well. so these old samples are not just relics.
how these samples ended up in western herbaria is a very interesting question. there's a colonial romantic image of a "plant hunter" on a "collecting expedition". he's (it's almost always a 'he') single-minded, dedicated, unafraid, adventurous, and *doing it for science*. it has its appeal! that's why i call it the colonial romantic - it has a romance about it, but there's a nerdy purity too. i mean, it's indiana jones, right?
but that's not how it really happened (surprise!). if you know much about how things (and people) from around the world ended up in england (and its colonies, like america), you know that it was basically always a total nightmare.
these colonials were engaged in a project of moving people, plants, animals, and specimens all around the world, like pieces on a chess board.
so, a slave ship might be carrying enslaved people, but it might also be carrying live plant specimens, live animal specimens, seeds, nuts, dried plants, fossils, butterflies, & all kinds of other stuff.
and that's what this talk is about: how, exactly early science was related to the slave-trading industry of england, specifically.
on a personal note, i live in hawai'i, a place where you can see *literally in what grows on the land and in what people are here* the effects of that colonial project of moving around people, plants, and animals. so if i ever start to wonder "hey, how did tree x end up on the island?" maybe it was brought as part of a plantation project. and if you meet a third generation japanese or filipino person on the island, their grandparents might have been brought over as workers for a plantation, part of that exact same colonial project. so all of us are still very much living in the world created by this global colonial project of places like england, spain, portugal, etc.
every time i look into how colonial powers moved plants around, i see that that movement was intimately tied to the goals and material reality of slavery, colonialism, and imperialism.
it's a hard history to look at, but it is real.
Next was an important conversation with Claire Priest on how early American laws that commodified property helped entrench slavery on the Digging a Hole podcast. There's a longer talk on this that she gave at Brown that I posted a few months ago, but if you didn't listen to that then this is a must https://www.diggingaholepodcast.com/episodes/episode-13-priest (6/9) #US #law #economics #history #slavery
“We must expand our mainstream public historical narratives to include the complex, nuanced and difficult stories of slavery and empire. This isn’t political correctness, wokery, or changing history … This is simply good history and expanding the range of narratives to introduce more complexity is better history.”
Nick Merriman, incoming head of English Heritage
Today in Labor History November 23, 1733: A slave insurrection began on St. John, in what was then the Danish West Indies. 150 African slaves from Akwamu, in present-day Ghana, revolted against the plantation owners. It was one of the earliest and longest slave rebellions in the Americas, lasting into August, 1734. During the revolt, they captured the fort in Coral Bay and controlled of most of the island, including other Africans, who they intended to use as their own slave labor. However, the Akwamu were eventually defeated by a larger and better-armed militia of French and Swiss troops from Martinique.
I know I don't shut up about this but frankly not enough #people are angry about the 5-day/40 hour workweek (and I am AWARE a lot of people #work even more than that). I feel like a lot more people should be absolutely furious that we only really have two days a week and some occasional hours in the evening to socialise, run errands, do chores, or relax.
It's no wonder so many people are profoundly lonely and disconnected from their #communities when maintaining a social life in what little free time we have is incredibly difficult. If you have kids, a second #job, a very long commute, or other responsibilities, it's nearly impossible.
We literally aren't meant to live like this and I'll never stop being shocked how many people just take it as the natural state of things and don't want to throw a brick through a #billionaire's window every time they think of it.
Pressure to remove topics like #MassIncarceration from #SchoolCurriculum in places like #Florida & from the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) #AfricanAmerican #History course reveals precisely why we must continue teaching it. Those pushing #censorship are afraid of mass incarceration for the same reason they’re afraid of the history of #slavery: Because reckoning with these histories raises the #MoralImperative to repair them.
I didn't realize Mary Ann Shadd's 1852 "Plea for Emigration, or Notes of Canada West...for the Information of Colored Emigrants" is available online.
"...Again, many look with dreadful forebodings the to probability of worse that inquisitorial inhumanity in the Southern States..."
Today in Labor History November 20, 1695: Zumbí, leader of the Quilombo de Palmares, was assassinated on this date. Palmares was the largest and longest lasting Quilombo (societies of people who freed themselves from slavery) in Brazil. Up to 30,000 inhabitants lived in Palmares during its height. The community lasted for more than 100 years. Members of Palmares routinely raided plantations, freeing slaves and brutally slaughtering their masters. Palmares was portrayed in the superb 1984 film, Quilombo, directed by Carlos Diegues. Also, influential mangue beat superstar, Chico Science, named his band Chico Science & Nacao Zumbi after the Quilombo leader. Gilberto Gil and Jorge Ben also composed music dedicated to Zumbi. And November 20 is celebrated in Brazil as a day of Afro-Brazilian consciousness.
⬆️ According to #Hebrew Bible, God revealed himself to #Abraham (not Moses) & made a #covenant with him that his descendants would eventually inherit the Land of #Israel (territory between River of #Egypt and #Euphrates river).
On reaching the #PromisedLand, sons of Israel formed tribes of ancient Israel.
The pressure on the developed states to recognise the case for reparations for #slavery may be about to be increased by a group the brings #African and #Caribbean countries together to argue the case... the Accra Proclamation is expected later this weekend; it will be interesting to see how this overdue & just campaign develops.
Fascinating introduction to a new digital humanities exploration of the role of insurance underwriters in the financing of the trans-Atlantic slave trade by Pyar Seth & Alexandre White at today’s Social Science History conference in Washington DC.
@economics @demography @socialscience @sociology @politicalscience @geography @anthropology @econhist @devecon #history #histodons #insurance #slavery #digitalhumanities
Today in Labor History November 15, 1842: 20 enslaved African-Americans, owned by the Cherokee, escaped and tried to reach Mexico, where slavery had been abolished since 1829, in the largest Slave Revolt ever in the Cherokee Nation. Along their way south, they were joined by 15 slaves escaping from the Creek Nation in Indian Territory. Some Native Americans held war captives as slaves, even prior to European colonization of the Americas. This included the Haida, and numerous tribes from the Pacific Northwest. And many more Indigenous people were captured and enslaved by the Europeans during the colonization process. A small number of tribes also held African-Americans as slaves. And many other tribes gave sanctuary to African-Americans who had escaped slavery, incorporating them into their societies, like the Seminole.
"No amount of money can restore the damage caused by the transatlantic slave trade ... But surely, this is a matter that the world must confront and can no longer ignore," Akufo-Addo said, launching the four-day reparations conference in the Ghanaian capital Accra.
"The entire period of slavery meant that our progress, economically, culturally, and psychologically, was stifled."
Protecting Human Rights Defenders Globally: Does #Canada Mean Business?
• ‘Canada’s responses to #UN scrutiny on #business & #humanrights: No coherent action plan’
• ‘Canada’s policy on protection human rights #defenders: “Two faced”’
• ‘Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise: Toothless’
• ‘… “modern #slavery” legislation: Promises more than it can deliver’
• ‘Int’l recommendations to uphold #Indigenous…rights: Business as usual’ | Catherine Morris, Slaw.ca https://www.slaw.ca/2023/11/02/protecting-human-rights-defenders-globally-does-canada-mean-business/
I wish #English speakers stop using the word "doula". It means "slave" in its original #Greek definition. As a Greek, I cringe every time I hear it or see it written. It's just too strong of a word for us, because it's still used in modern Greek to signify women who have had bad marriages or they're otherwise in "#slavery" work or life conditions. Just use the word "helper" instead. Doula is a bad word to use to simply mean that someone helps you out.
#Boston City Council says it's time to change Faneuil Hall's name
#FaneuilHall #slavery #Bospoli https://www.universalhub.com/2023/city-council-says-its-time-change-faneuil-halls
A common tactic of anti-anarchist debate trolls is to demand examples of successful anarchist or non-state societies, their point being apparently that in the putative real world these would invariably become Mad Max or Somalia. Facts won't convince the aggressively ignorant, of course, but examples aren't hard to find. Just for instance maroons -- escaped slaves who established communities outside of state control -- in the Americas from the 16th century on are really interesting in this context and there's a ton of literature -- search "maroon" on libgen. I'm currently reading Daniel Sayers on marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp -- straddling the Virginia/North Carolina border -- from 1607-1860, which is fascinating. Here's a quote about one such community, maybe anarchist, maybe not, but definitely non-state and definitely persistent.
Life among scissioners and their communities was as minimally alienating as one can imagine—but, more important, perhaps as minimally alienating as any people have ever managed to achieve in the modern world. These were not communes that lasted a decade or so but rather communities and metacommunities that persisted across several generations, even if they did change during that long period.
The archaeological residues of this long-vanished mode of communitization at one site in particular, referred to as the nameless site, have yielded unassailable direct evidence, and much more additional indirect evidence, for a Diasporic community of individuals who followed rules of their own making and acceptance; who maintained community organization and coherence by generating custom and tradition; who labored for themselves and their fellow scissioners; and who existed as beings possessed of true consciousness, in the Marxian sense of truthful or accurate comprehension of the world around them derived from critical awareness of its real social conditions.
Americans will never have reproductive rights until we have a full abolition of slavery.
Abbott, by stopping Texans from leaving to New Mexico to have abortions, is saying Article IV and the Reconstruction amendments are null and void.
so in a sense,
ANTI-ABORTION LAWS ARE ACTS OF SECESSION
because they re-instate SLAVERY as a "state right"
Today in Labor History October 21, 1894: French anarchists incited a revolt on the penal colony of Île Saint-Joseph, in the Salvation Islands of French Guiana, which included the infamous Devil’s Island. The revolt was a response to the guards killing an anarchist prisoner. The uprising was quickly put down, with the guards slaughtering several anarchists, and torturing many more, some of whom later died from their wounds. Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held there (1895-98) after his wrongful, antisemitic conviction for treason. Charles Delescluze, libertarian socialist and future leader of the Paris Commune, was sent there in 1853. Clément Duval, a member of the Panther of Batignolles anarchist gang of robbers, spent 14 years on Devil’s Island, making 20 escape attempts. In 1901, he succeeded and fled to New York, where lived until his death at the age of 85. The first political prisoners brought to Guiana were Jacobins, in 1794. Numerous slave rebellions also occurred in the colony, until slavery was finally abolished, in the wake of the 1848 French Revolution. The novel and film “Papillon” takes place there, as does Joseph Conrad's short story “An Anarchist” (1906). Delescluze, who was killed on the barricades during the Commune, wrote an account of his imprisonment in Guiana, “De Paris à Cayenne, Journal d'un transporté.” And Duval wrote about it in his 1929 memoir, “Outrage: An Anarchist Memoir of the Penal Colony.” Guiana is the only continental South American territory to remain a European colony into the 21st century.
☝️ 「China’s preëminence at sea has come at a cost. The country is largely unresponsive to international laws, and its fleet is the worst perpetrator of illegal fishing in the world, helping drive species to the brink of extinction. Its ships are also rife with labor trafficking, debt bondage, violence, criminal neglect, and death. “The human-rights abuses on these ships are happening on an industrial and global scale,” Steve Trent, the C.E.O. of the Environmental Justice Foundation, said. 」
A Racist #Harvard Scientist Commissioned Photos of Enslaved People. One Possible Descendant Wants to Reclaim Their Story.
The images are among the oldest known #photographs of enslaved people in America.
Tamara Lanier’s fight to gain control of them shows there is no clear system in place to repatriate remains of captive Africans or objects associated with them.
@mariapopova Fascinating speech but his title was What Desires Are Politically Important? ie particularly those leading to war. Noticeably, Russell was very wrong about govt's #altruism when ending #slavery. He praises the fact that "British taxpayers paid many millions in compensation to Jamaican landowners for the liberation of their slaves" but fails to mention that the slaves received *nothing* and the landowners were of course the 30-40,000 British families back home enormously enriched...
We need a wealth tax to pay back this stolen inheritance so many take for granted.
A crown branded onto bodies links British monarchy to slave trade...King Charles III has not apologized for his predecessors’ role in the slave trade, as Dutch King Willem-Alexander did in the summer. #reparations #slavery #monarchy #greatbritain
Forced Labor Continues in #Colorado, Years After Vote to End #Prison #Slavery
Coloradans voted in 2018 to amend their state constitution to ban forced labor in prison. Years later, incarcerated people are still being punished for refusing work assignments.
A lot of US political talk tacitly assumes that a purpose of government is to help people. One way this assumption manifests itself is as shock that the government openly facilitates exploitation. They prosecute shoplifting but not wage theft! Littering but not industrial pollution! Jaywalking but not killer self-driving cars! Poor people's tax evasion but corporations pay nothing! Student loan defaults but not COVID money fraud!
Often this discourse contrasts current conditions to an imaginary past when the government did its putative job. The top tax rate used to be 90%! The minimum wage was a lot higher in real dollars! Public universities used to be affordable! But really, when was this supposed golden age?
The first governments that colonists set up on this continent were run by enslaving planters to facilitate slave-based capitalism. During the nineteenth century the planters were replaced by industrialists and financiers to facilitate wage-slave-based exploitation. At some point capitalists subbed in professional politicians but the work didn't change. Any gains workers made were the result of resistance, not government beneficence. If there was actually a time when American governments, federal, state, local, meant to help people, when did it start? When did the plantocracy or its successors relinquish control?
Governments here have *never* been on our side. Their main function has *always* been to facilitate exploitation and the transfer of wealth from poor to rich. At any given point in history they've stolen as much as they could get away with, and if it looks like things used to be better it's only because they didn't yet have the means to make them worse. Capitalism isn't amenable to reform, only to abolition. Of the police, of wage slavery, of coercion as a tool of government. So, you know, smash the state!
The incredibly brave Harriet Tubman escaped slavery on this day (September 17) in 1849. Through numerous missions, she helped many others escape slavery through the Underground Railroad. She also become a spy and scout for the Union Army and an activist in the women's suffrage movement.
Can you guess where she was born?
“Nestle says slavery reporting requirements could cost customers.”
Not to be a joyless communist, but if we can’t have chocolate without slavery, we shouldn’t have chocolate.
Ancient DNA is used to connect enslaved African Americans to modern descendants
#slavery #genomics #ethicalresearch #catoctinfurnaces
On #LaborDay I watch a film about #slavery b/c if we’re going to recognize the #workforce, we should acknowledge that the #US achieved great success by forcing #Black bodies to perform free labor. This year’s pick #TheWomanKing was amazing. I ❤️#ViolaDavis
"Even the clergymen who established the first Catholic seminary operated a plantation and relied on enslaved laborers. ...
Yet enslaved Black men, women, and children remain invisible in the origin story traditionally told about the emergence of Catholicism in the United States.”
~ Ibid., p. xvi
"Without the enslaved, the Catholic Church in the United States, as we know it today, would not exist. …
“The priests in Maryland, who relied on the proceeds derived from slave labor and slavery, built the nation's first Catholic college, the first archdiocese, and the first Catholic cathedral and helped establish two of the earliest Catholic monasteries."
~ Ibid., p. xvi
"Americans often view it as a northern institution that has welcomed, educated, and nurtured waves of newcomers from Europe and Latin America. But there is a darker history both for the church and for our country: for more than a century, the American Catholic Church relied on the buying, selling, and enslavement of Black people to lay its foundations, support its clergy, and drive its expansion."
~ Ibid., p. xvi
“Today, the Catholic Church is the largest religious denomination in the United States, with more than 60 million members, more than nineteen thousand parishes, and enormous influence in the nation's political, cultural, educational, and religious life."
~ Rachel L. Swarns, The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church (NY: Random House, 2023) , pp. xv-xvi
Frederick Douglass escaped slavery this day (September 3rd) in 1838. He became a best-selling author, national abolitionist leader, statesman, social reformer and one of the great orators of the time.
Do you know where he was born?
Today in Labor History September 3, 1838: Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland to freedom in the north, where he became a leader of the abolitionist movement. During his lifetime, he wrote 3 autobiographies and became a best-selling author. He also fought for women’s suffrage and was the first black man nominated to run for vice president. Douglass opposed colonialism and segregated schools. He was the most photographed American of the 19th century, never smiling once for the camera so as to not play into the racist myth of the happy slave.