Political Thinkers: Frederick Douglass

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We'll continue the "Political Thinkers" series. It critically examines the political and ideological viewpoints of prominent public figures, considered to be tremendously influential as a trendsetter.

Here, the goal is to discuss fresh viewpoints -- some of which might be "unconventional" in nature -- in analyzing its applicability in our ever-increasingly complex society. Just like every issue that our group discusses, we examine and evaluate it with an independent and critical lens, at the highest level of intellectual rigor.

For this discussion, we'll evaluate the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass, including:

▨ His role as the most influential African-American of the Nineteenth Century.

▨ His role as a national leader of the abolitionist movement.

▨ His work and advocacy on behalf of other reform causes, including: women's rights, land reform, public education, and the abolition of capital punishment.

▨ His role as an influential intellectual, with emphasis on agitation and antagonism of the institutional status quo.

▨ His wide appeal to the both modern day Conservatives and Progressives.

▨ Finally, we'll evaluate how his complex personal life shaped his outlook and his legacy.

***We'll also read and discuss Douglass' short essay, entitled “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” A full text of it can be accessed here:


We'll then explore the following questions:

- What are the deep-rooted philosophical basis for his views and ideas?

- What makes his appeal so controversial?

- Have his views and positions always remained intellectually consistent?

- What does his rise to popularity indicate about the cultural or political climate of the time period?

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The NYCPF does not endorse or promote the views held by any of these individuals.

PLEASE NOTE: the individuals above will NOT be appearing in-person -- these meetings are for DISCUSSION PURPOSES ONLY, in comparing and evaluating their views and ideologies.


Previous "Political Thinkers" series:

▨ Ta-Nehisi Coates (August 17, 2019): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/263637235/

▨ Steve Bannon and Andrew Breitbart (July 27, 2019): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/261209955/

▨ Noam Chomsky (April 13, 2019): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/260117021/

▨ Milton Friedman (Feb. 23, 2019): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/258359948/

▨ Christopher Hitchens (Jan. 12, 2019): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/257700330/

▨ Jordon Peterson (May 26, 2018): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/250182531

▨ Sam Harris and Reza Azlan (April 21, 2018): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/248609818/

▨ Milo Yiannopoulos, Ben Shapiro, Linda Sarsour, Cenk Uygur (Feb. 10, 2018): https://www.meetup.com/NYC-Politics/events/246998014/