Voters Face A Big Decision In 2020: Could A Lesson From Frederick Douglass Help?

In 1856, Frederick Douglass had a choice to make: support the big change he believed in — abolition of slavery — or settle for a less sweeping shift from a candidate better positioned to win.

In 1856, Frederick Douglass made a decision. He was an antislavery activist then, hoping to advance his cause by supporting a candidate in that fall's presidential election.

Douglass' endorsement mattered. He was famous — a man who had escaped slavery to become an influential speaker and writer. He was a newspaper editor, operating out of an office in Rochester, N.Y. The power of his words could be measured by the efforts to silence him: White men with clubs and stones once chased him off a stage in Indiana, while his autobiography was banned in the

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