Profiles in Courage: Season 1, Episode 12

Frederick Douglass (31 Jan. 1965)

TV Episode  |   |  Biography, Drama, History
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The story of Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave who fled to the North in the days before the Civil War. Douglass decided to use his writing and oratorical skills to lead the fight to ... See full summary »

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Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Claudia McNeil ...
Mrs. Haines
Frederick O'Neal ...
Haines
Alfred Ryder ...
Garrison
Harry Townes ...
Coffin
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The story of Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave who fled to the North in the days before the Civil War. Douglass decided to use his writing and oratorical skills to lead the fight to abolish slavery, a risky move because the Fugitive Slave Act allowed an escaped slave to be captured anywhere in the US and returned to his owners in the South. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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31 January 1965 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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A Mystery Episode?
3 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I hope somebody reads this, and fills us in on what it was about.

Frederick Douglass is probably the first really great figure in African-American history. There were a few earlier figures like Crispus Attucks, Phyllis Wheatley, or Benjamin Bannecker who were certainly notable (as patriot martyr, poetess, and surveyor of Washington, D.C.), but Douglass was the first one to really imprint himself on America's conscience as spokesperson for the African-Americans, first as slaves, then as citizens.

A slave who was taught to read and write (and became a master of English prose) Douglass became an active writer and orator against slavery. I suspect (and here I hope someone will correct me) that the episode is about the threat to Douglass, as an escaped slave, to make his public speeches in the era when the Fugitive Slave Act was official law of the land, and that it would mean he could be seized in a Northern state and returned to his former master. That would seem to be the only reason to put Douglass into the series.

Douglass would be instrumental in convincing Lincoln into putting African - Americans into military uniform in the Civil War. He would be the leading figure among African-Americans as a power broker with the Republicans until his death in 1891. He would also be our Minister to Haiti for many years. He was not flawless. I mentioned how he was willing to stop his alliance with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton regarding the woman's suffrage issue when he concentrated on the rights of African - American males after the Civil War (the comment was in the review I did of THE SHOCKING MISS PILGRIM). But every person, because they are human, do some things we don't approve of. Douglass was right on those issues that he put his own safety on first. And so he is remembered (flaws and all) as a hero to this day.


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