‘Frederick Douglass’ Review: His Tongue the Pen of God

In an 1895 eulogy to Frederick Douglass, the Chicago Tribune summarized his stature by declaring that “no man, black or white, has been better known for nearly half a century in this country.” Indeed, Douglass was “so highly esteemed by the white people,” the editors said, “that his entrance into their midst upon any public occasion was always the signal for an enthusiastic personal greeting.”

It may seem like an extraordinary statement to make during the era of Jim Crow segregation. Yet as David Blight confirms in his monumental and multi-themed biography, “ Frederick Douglass : Prophet of Freedom,” the Tribune’s assessment was more than accurate.In the fight for equal rights, Frederick Douglass felt he was an instrument of the divine will.

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