Feb. 14, 2020

Letter To His Slave Owner Celebrating Frederick Douglass’s Birthday

Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was the name given to a slave born someday in February 1818. He told the name Frederick Douglass after escaping from slavery at the age of 20. Who would’ve know that this man born in physical chains but not mental chains would change the course of American history? Frederick Douglass never knew the exact date of his birth, exact records were never kept for chattel which Frederick Douglass was at the time of his birth. So he took February 14, 1818, 202 years ago as his date of celebration. He could’ve taken September 3, 1838 as his birth date because it was that date the path of American history changed dramatically for the better for black Americans.

In 1848, Frederick Douglass felt the necessity to write a letter to his former slave owner Thomas Auld. I recorded this video in his words my voice on 5/8/2017. I felt that for Frederick Douglass this gut-wrenching letter was a deliverance message that made his new found freedom a reality. Maybe, if all Black Americans had written these letters to their past masters and detailed the agony, horror, terror, and brutality of forced servitude​. We could've released those demons that controlled so many aspects of our ancestors lives. Who do we write letters to today to unleash the pain of still being black in America in 2020? Because blacks in this nation are indeed still suffering but we must understand the mantra of Frederick Douglass that there is no progress without struggle.