When I head into work in the mornings I’m sure that there’s a “Did You Know?” or “On This Day…” type of email waiting for me to open up. They contain brief information about important and or historical past events. Mostly of the organization itself and or the individuals affiliated with it. It usually goes something like ‘Did you know…so and so did this or that.’ Or ‘On this day…so and so happened.’
Sometimes I read it and sometimes I don’t. I’m sorry, but I also have a bunch of other emails to answer waiting for me as well. But it’s thanks to those emails that helped inspire today’s post. I thought and thought of what more I can contribute to Black History month. And then I thought, I wonder what happened today?
Well, did you know that on this day in 1895, Frederick Douglass died? Frederick Douglass was bornFrederick Augustus Washington Bailey. He was a former slave, an abolitionist, preacher, orator, editor, writer and author. He also held a position in government and believed in the equality of all people.
He successfully escaped slavery on his third attempt by boarding a train. Several days after escape he married Anna Murray. A free black woman who supplied him some of her savings and a sailor’s uniform, so that he can travel safely from Delaware to New York City. Six years later he wrote his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. It was an immediate bestseller. He then toured Ireland and Britain for two years before returning to the US. After his return, he started the abolitionist newspaper,The North Star. And became internationally known advocating for women’s rights and fighting for emancipation and suffrage.
You can find his memoirs and autobiographies Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, My Bondage and My Freedom, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass and other writings on Goodreads. You can read his speech Self-Made Men here.
“I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”-Frederick Douglass
Also on this day, the play Harlem written by playwright Wallace Henry Thurman, debut on Broadway. Wallace Thurman was a novelist, editor, publisher and essayist during the Harlem Renaissance.
He started and worked as editor of many journals and newspapers. They were all short-lived. But he was able to meet and work together with Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Alain Locke, Gwendolyn B. Bennett, etc. He is best known for his novel The Blacker the Berry : A Novel of Negro Life. A novel which explores racial prejudice within the black community. You can find the novel and other writings on Goodreads as well.
“We are mere journeymen, planting seeds for someone else to harvest.”- Wallace Henry Thurman
PS. I will include the “30 Days of Poetry Love” signup form at the end of every post. So if anyone is interested in participating, you know what to do…