Preface of Saint (2)
[Common of a Prophetic Witness]
[Common of a Saint]
[For Prophetic Witness in Society]
[For Reconciliation and Forgiveness]
PRAYER (traditional language)
Almighty God, we bless thy Name for the witness of Frederick Douglass, whose impassioned and reasonable speech moved the hearts of people to a deeper obedience to Christ: Strengthen us also to speak on behalf of those in captivity and tribulation, continuing in the Word of Jesus Christ our Liberator; who with thee and the Holy Spirit dwelleth in glory everlasting. Amen.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
Almighty God, we bless your Name for the witness of Frederick Douglass, whose impassioned and reasonable speech moved the hearts of people to a deeper obedience to Christ: Strengthen us also to speak on behalf of those in captivity and tribulation, continuing in the Word of Jesus Christ our Liberator; who with you and the Holy Spirit dwells in glory everlasting. Amen.
This commemoration adopted provisionally at General Convention 2009.
at General Convention 2015.
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Last updated: 20 Dec. 2015
PROPHETIC WITNESS, 1895
Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, circa 1818 –
February 20, 1895) was an American abolitionist, women's suffragist, editor,
orator, author, statesman and reformer. Called "The Sage of Anacostia"
and "The Lion of Anacostia", Douglass is one of the most prominent
figures in African American and United States history.
He was a firm believer in the equality of all people, whether black,
female, Native American, or recent immigrant. He was fond of saying, "I
would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."
Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Talbot County, Maryland. He was
separated from his mother, Harriet Bailey, when he was still an infant.
She died when Douglass was about seven and Douglass lived with his maternal
grandmother Betty Bailey.
When Douglass was about twelve, his owner's wife started teaching him
the alphabet, which was against the law. Douglass succeeded in learning
to read from white children in the neighborhood and by observing the writings
of men with whom he worked. As Douglass learned and began to read newspapers,
political materials, and books of every description, he was exposed to
a new realm of thought that led him to question and then condemn the institution
He was hired out to a number of owners before finally escaping north
to freedom in September 1838. Douglass continued traveling up to Massachusetts.
There he joined various organizations in New Bedford, including a black
church, and regularly attended abolitionist meetings.
Douglass' best-known work is his first autobiography Narrative of
the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, published in 1845.
The book received generally positive reviews and it became an immediate
bestseller. Douglass published three versions of his autobiography during
his lifetime (and revised the third of these), each time expanding on
the previous one. The 1845 Narrative, which was his biggest seller, was
followed by My Bondage and My Freedom in 1855. In 1881, after
the Civil War, Douglass published Life and Times of Frederick Douglass,
which he revised in 1892.
Douglass produced some regular abolitionist newspapers, including The
North Star. Its motto was "Right is of no Sex — Truth
is of no Color — God is the Father of us all, and we are all brethren."
Douglass believed that education was key for African Americans to improve
their lives. For this reason, he was an early advocate for desegregation
Douglass conferred with President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 on the treatment
of black soldiers, and with President Andrew Johnson on the subject of
black suffrage. His early collaborators were the white abolitionists William
Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips.
In 1848, Douglass attended the first women's
rights convention, the Seneca Falls Convention, as the only African
American. Elizabeth Cady Stanton asked the assembly to pass a resolution
asking for women's suffrage. Many of those present opposed the idea, but
Douglass stood and spoke eloquently in favor; he said that he could not
accept the right to vote himself as a black man if woman could not also
claim that right. His powerful words rang true with enough attendees that
the resolution passed.
By the time of the Civil War, Douglass was one of the most famous black
men in the country, known for his orations on the condition of the black
race and on other issues such as women's rights. His eloquence gathered
crowds at every location. His reception by leaders in England and Ireland
added to his stature.
After the Civil War, Douglass was appointed to several important political
positions. He served as President of the Reconstruction-era Freedman's
Savings Bank; as marshal of the District of Columbia; as minister-resident
and consul-general to the Republic of Haiti (1889–1891); and as
chargé d'affaires for the Dominican Republic.
Douglass was an ordained minister of the African Methodist Episcopal
— more from Wikipedia