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Frederick Douglass

No one was ever a more critical reader of the Constitution, or a more compelling advocate of its virtues, than Douglass.

The Prophetic Pragmatism of Frederick Douglass

By Editors' Choice

He escaped from slavery, and helped rescue America. By Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker — Frederick Douglass, who has been called the greatest American of the nineteenth century, grew up as a slave named Frederick Bailey, and the story of how he named himself in freedom shows how complicated his life, and his world, always was. Frederick’s father, as David W. Blight shows in his extraordinary new biography, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet…

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Fugitives escaping the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

The Eastern Shore of Maryland is the birthplace of many black revolutionaries. Why?

By Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

By WP BrandStudio, The Washington Post — Within just four years, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, two of America’s most influential and notable abolitionists, were born in close proximity on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Douglass was born in 1818 in Talbot County; four years later, Tubman was born just a few miles south, in Dorchester County. When it came to their approaches to abolitionism, the difference between them was “marked,”…

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Left to right: Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens; an African-American soldier in the Union Army; abolitionist Frederick Douglass

The Urgency of a Third Reconstruction

By Editors' Choice

The ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment marked a turning point in U.S. history. Yet 150 years later, its promises remain unfulfilled. By Robert Greene, Dissent — The ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment on July 9, 1868 was a turning point in United States history. Arriving at the height of Reconstruction, the amendment marked the first time the U.S. Constitution explicitly addressed the question of who qualified as an American citizen.…

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The Oberlin rescuers, with Simeon Bushnell and Charles Langston 9th and 12th from the left. Library of Congress

Anti-slavery heroes Charles Langston and Simeon Bushnell deserve pardons too, President Trump

By Reparations

By Steven Lubet, The Conversation — President Donald Trump has exercised the pardon power more aggressively and creatively than most of his predecessors, granting pardons to political supporters such as Joe Arpaio and Dinesh D’Souza, and a posthumous pardon to Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, who was convicted on a racially fraught charge of violating the Mann Act. Trump has mused about pardoning former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, as well as Robert Mueller’s probe…

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