African American Hero Bios
1. First, Preview the hero bios below.
2. Next, click "ready to select" on the bio you choose.
3. Fill out the Selection form to register your choice.
4. then download and print your hero bio of choice. bring it to the event.
5. Bear in mind that bios already selected by others MAY APPEAR ON THIS PAGE, but won't be available as options on the selection form.
Famed 19th-century author and orator Frederick Douglass was a human rights leader in the anti-slavery movement and the first African-American citizen to hold a high U.S. government rank.
He was born into slavery sometime around 1818 in Talbot County, Maryland and became one of the most famous intellectuals of his time, advising presidents and lecturing to thousands on a range of causes, including women’s rights and Irish home rule.
Despite a ban on teaching slaves to read and write, a slaveholder taught Douglass the alphabet when he was around 12. He read newspapers avidly and sought out political writing and literature. He shared his knowledge with other enslaved people, teaching other slaves to read the New Testament at a weekly church service.
Douglass began producing some abolitionist newspapers. He soon became a regular on the abolitionist lecture circuit and one of the most famous Black men in the country. In 1863, Douglass met with President Abraham Lincoln regarding the treatment of black soldiers, and later with President Andrew Johnson on the subject of black voting rights. Slavery was abolished in 1865 following the Civil War.
In 1872, Douglass was nominated for vice-president, marking the first time an African American appeared on a presidential ballot.
Douglass wrote autobiographies eloquently describing his experiences, including the well-known Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. The book was a best-seller in the United States and was translated into several European languages.