Frederick Douglass Quote on Slavery and Family



“The practice of separating children from their mother, and hiring the latter out at distances too great to admit of their meeting, except at long intervals, is a marked feature of the cruelty and barbarity of the slave. But it is in harmony with the grand aim of slavery, which, always and everywhere, is to reduce man to a level with the brute. It is a successful method of obliterating from the mind and heart of the slave, all just ideas of the sacredness of the family, as an institution.”

– Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass, 1876


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“Frederick Douglass Quote on Slavery and Family” Sources:

  • Portrait taken in 1876 – National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, NPG.80.282
  • Douglass, Frederick, and Editions, Mint. My Bondage and My Freedom. United States, West Margin Press, 2020.