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Feb. 14: Abolitionist Leader Frederick Douglass is Born

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Abolitionist Frederick Douglass (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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Every day during the month of February, WPGC will feature an important moment in Black history.  These daily vignettes are read by local children in the District and surrounding areas.

On Feb. 14, 1817, Frederick Douglass was born in Talbot County, Md.  He was born into slavery and after being traded to multiple families, he ended up serving a man named Hugh Auld in Baltimore.  Auld’s wife began teaching Douglass the alphabet, though it was illegal to do so.  From that moment, he began to teach himself how to read on a daily basis, a skill that was frowned upon in the white world.

Soon, he fell in love with a free black woman who helped him escape slavery and the couple settled in Massachusetts. Due to his educated and eloquent tone as he spoke, local churches asked him to speak on anti-slavery and soon, Douglass was touring the east and midwest to lecture.  Douglass became the leader of the abolitionist movement and fought for anti-slavery and women’s rights.

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