This is Black History Month in the United States. As of 1976, every U.S. President has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Canada and the UK also celebrate their own Black History Months. One of the most prominent figures of American history is Frederick Douglass.
Frederick Douglass, born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, was a slave until he escaped his bondage at the age of twenty and grew up to become a propagandist of the Union cause and emancipation, a recruiter of black troops, and advisor to President Abraham Lincoln (www.history.com).
“The soul that is within me no man can degrade”, is one of Mr. Douglass’ quotes and is so important when considering the plight of his people. In a world where the Soul is possessed (e.g. my soul) this consideration of Soul as the true self provides one with a sense of freedom, regardless of the circumstances a person is experiencing. If Soul is residing in the physical body and considered the true self, it follows then that the physical body is merely a shell possessed by the Soul and not the other way around.
This point of view provides a freedom that is external to the physical senses and one I find interesting. If we are Soul and not the body Soul is occupying, it allows us to realize that though the physical body may be imprisoned, Soul is free. Free to go where it will and not subject to the abject horrors that slavery has wrought on so many throughout human history. There are many religious world-views that espouse Soul as the true self.
Frederick Douglass was an example and inspiration to all Americans. He rose from being a slave to become an advisor to the President of the United States on two separate occasions, demonstrating that the spirit is stronger than a person’s physical body or the terrible conditions one is born into. Each of us has the same ability if we use it. I challenge each of my readers to read stories about individuals like Frederick Douglass who overcame prejudice, fear, and great hardship to land a place in history, anytime you feel like life has dealt you a bad hand.
Frederick Douglass was one of our great American heroes. I applaud him and the many other African Americans that have blessed our American history.
History.com (n.d.). Frederick Douglass. Retrieved on February 4, 2017, from http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/frederick-douglass
Credit for Frederick Douglass’ image goes to bio.com
Until next time…