Frederick Douglass’ legacy as an abolitionist and activist only continues to strengthen as time passes.

(Unknown Photographer circa 1858/New-York Historical Society/WW Norton)

 By Henry Louis Gates Jr. and John Stauffer – February 10, 2017. Washington Post

At a Black History Month event recently, President Trump seemed to suggest that Frederick Douglass is still alive: He’s “done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more,” Trump said. If he was referring to our awareness of Douglass’s important historical legacy, then the president’s remarks were on the money: More than 120 years after Douglass’s death, the great abolitionist’s impact on our country is still unfolding.   

The former slave who became one of the nation’s most widely read authors and most popular orators speaks to us still through his prolific writings, and his legacy is ensured by his solid place in the literary canon and the treasure trove of images that he seemed determined to leave behind. But as Douglass’s fame has grown, so too have myths about his history and personality.   [Read more]