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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Frederick Douglass and Haiti

douglassBy Yvette Desquiron

Special to CSMS Magazine

This feeling of intense sadness and dislike expressed here by Frederick Douglass is indeed the best and most eloquent way of describing the pain of Africans in America. Born a slave, Douglass rose to become one of America’s most brilliant statesmen of the 19th century.  He was already 72 years old when he was appointed by the Harrison Administration as Minister of Residence and Consul General to Haiti. He was subsequently Chargé d’Affaires for Santo Domingo.  The appointment of Douglass confirmed the official and most visible recognition of his race—black—and appointing Douglass to this prestigious post is a conciliatory gesture to that race in Haiti—the race in which Douglass belonged. But despite his fame and his impeccable prowess, Frederick Douglass was never a happy man. His unutterable loathing is confirmed in this famous quote below.    

“In thinking of America, I sometimes find myself admiring her bright blue sky — her grand old woods — her fertile fields — her beautiful rivers — her mighty lakes, and star-crowned mountains. But my rapture is soon checked, my joy is soon turned to mourning. When I remember that all is cursed with the infernal actions of slaveholding, robbery and wrong, — when I remember that with the waters of her noblest rivers, the tears of my brethren are borne to the ocean, disregarded and forgotten, and that her most fertile fields drink daily of the warm blood of my outraged sisters, I am filled with unutterable loathing.”

Note: Yvette Desquiron is historian. She lives and works in Montpellier, Vermont. She is our newest contributor. Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/csmsmagazine

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  1. Very interesting, educative, emotional and touchy black history. I understand  Frederick Douglass. One can achieve every success, but when your brother is under slavery, Apartheid and all kinds of bondage, would make your soul miserable. He has done his best, the question is what lessons do we learn from him as one black family? (Africans and Africans in the Diaspora)

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