Tuesday’s Love Jones will be dedicated all month long to what love must have been like in the days of our forefathers. Welcome to our third post for 2013′s annual Black History Month Celebration!
Frederick Douglass – 1818-1895
Birth name ( Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey) was many things during his life: runaway slave, famed orator, adviser and close confidant to Abraham Lincoln, an American social reformer, orator,writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, friend to Susan B. Anthony, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders’ arguments that slaves did not have the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Many Northerners also found it hard to believe that such a great orator had been a slave.
In 1884, a year after Ana (his first wife) passed away of after the death of her youngest daughter Annie in 1860 at age 10 she was often in poor health; she died of a stroke in 1882 at the family home in Washington D.C, Douglass married Helen Pitts, the feminist daughter of parents who had been his supporters during the Rochester years.
Douglass was friends with Helen first and she admired him greatly. Helen Pitts Douglass lived in Honeoye, New York in Ontario County as a girl. Her dad was an abolitionist. Helen’s house was very important because it was one of the stops on the Underground Railroad!!!
When she got older Helen worked as a secretary for Woman’s Rights. She worked for Woman’s Rights because Helen did not think it was fair to treat woman differently than men. Later, at a Woman’s Rights meeting Helen met Frederick Douglass. When she got older she moved to Washington D.C. During this time Frederick and Helen stayed great friends. After Helen moved to Washington, on January 24, 1884 she married Frederick Douglass!
They were dear friends before marriage…how romantical!!!
After the marriage Frederick said, “They would have had no objection to marrying a person much darker than myself, but to marry one much lighter, and of the complexion of my father rather than of my mother, was, in the popular eye, a shocking offense, and for which I was to be ostracized by white and black alike.”
Helen was friends with Abraham Lincoln because Frederick was too. Both Abraham and Helen did not like slavery. But the statement that Frederick made is one that we still ponder today, right?
We all know and should believe that love has NO COLOR right? Yet, even the very white men and women that lived the core of their lived to help slaves escape and also to abolish slavery were also the very one against Frederick marrying Helen. Also that statement upset the black community, because in their eyes “how dare he marry a white woman when they were supposedly part of the problem” and quite frankly understood during 1619 – 1865, right?
Fast-forwarding to present times, don’t we see the same things? Black man has black wife and then becomes successful and marries a white woman or anything non-black. Names like Kanye West, Sugar Ray Lenard, Charles Barkley, Montel Williams…just to name a few come to mind.
I can understand why a race of people would take offense to that, but at the end of the day it’s really none of our business. When Frederick married Helen, I’m sure they knew what their struggles would be, because keep in mind, during that time people truly believed with the core of their beings that it was a pure sin to mix races through sex, relationships and ESPECIALLY through marriage. But, in their case and in many cases, you can’t really pick who you fall in love with and one can most surly NOT decide what color love should be before the falling in takes place.
#KitKat’s Notes: This moment in Black History is provided in hopes to abolish inter-race division that is still present to day and to also help us understand that love has no color. Love is a free spirit that will always rest upon the souls willing best to accept and appreciate it. ENJOYED? SUBSCRIBE! and check out an amazing BLACK HISTORY CONTEST
To learn more about this amazing man please study these books:
5 of our Favorite Frederick Douglass Quotes:
“This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”