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Stone Collection: Volume 61 - Item 15
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Alfred H. Stone Collection
Volume: 61

15. Frederick Douglass, The Race Problem. Great Speech of Frederick Douglass, Delivered before the Bethel Library and Historical Association, in the Metropolitan A. M.. E. Church, Washington, D. C., October 21, 1890 (N.p., [1890?]). (16 p.)

Speech emphasizing the importance of being honest and straightforward in how we label things. “I object to characterizing the relation subsisting between the white and colored people of this country as the Negro problem, as if the Negro had precipitated that problem, and as if he were in any way responsible for the problem. Though a rose by any other name may smell as sweet, it is not in good taste to give it a name that suggests offensive associations. There are, on the other hand, things that are in themselves revolting, and should not be given fair-seeming names. The slaveholders understood this principle well enough. Slavery lost something of its offensive aspect when it was called a domestic institution or a social system or other like names. Emancipation was made to look dangerous when it got itself called an experiment, although slavery itself was an experiment, as liberty is the normal condition of the man.”