As you know, last Monday (January 17) was a federal holiday, celebrating the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr. Our office was closed, along with most markets and the Union State Bank, with whom we have a mutually productive marketing arrangement. So, I spent the day at home reading some history, which is almost my favorite thing to do.
During the course of the day, I was reminded electronically by Debi Ghate, Vice President of Academic Programs at the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, California that February, not January, is designated as Black History Month. Debi referred me to the fact that Frederick C. Douglass (1818 - 1895) was born in February, though the exact date is uncertain. Maybe that's the reason.
I know that Frederick Douglass was a black man, who although born into slavery, became one of the great men of the 19th century; but I don't remember reading much about him - in school or elsewhere - nor have I read anything that he may have written. So, I ordered Debi's 2-CD lecture, Frederick Douglass: From Chattelhood to Manhood, from Slave to Intellectual Leader.
I haven't yet received the CD, but I have found online, Mr. Douglass' most famous speech, Self-Made Men (1872). You can Google it yourself, or click here. It's in the public domain, so if you want to download it and share it, be my guest. It is a truly remarkable document, and you really should read it.
I'll have much more to say about Mr. Douglass in the February issue of our print newsletter, Flourishing, but for now, just read - and think about - this passage from his autobiography, The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, published in 1882:
I have often been asked how I felt when first I found myself on free soil. And my readers may share the same curiosity. There is scarcely anything in my experience about which I could not give a more satisfactory answer. A new world had opened upon me. If life is more than breath, and the 'quick round of blood,' I lived more in one day than in a year of my slave life. It was a time of joyous excitement which words can but tamely describe. In a letter written to a friend soon after reaching New York, I said: 'I felt as one might feel upon escape from a den of hungry lions.' Anguish and grief, like darkness and rain, may be depicted; but gladness and joy, like the rainbow, defy the skill of pen or pencil.
Until next week,
PATIENCE, DISCIPLINE, and CONFIDENCE in the FUTURE!mh