"Young people, all people, should know that empowerment first comes from within, and that it is important for us to narrate what is within ourselves and this society where Black people and other peoples still do not feel free. That is why Douglass’s Narrative remains important. That is why this One Million Abolitionists project is so vitally important."
Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of Stamped From the Beginning:
The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America,
winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction
Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI) introduces a project called, One Million Abolitionists. To honor Douglass’s 200th birthday, we will print one million hardcover copies of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave and give them to young people all across the country. Then we’ll ask the readers of this special Bicentennial Edition to create service projects to address an urgent social justice issue present in their community. We would like to see one million young people working toward equality in the spirit of Frederick Douglass.
The Library of Congress named the Narrative one of the 88 Books That Shaped America. Published in 1845, Douglass’s first autobiography became an instant best seller putting his life in danger since he had escaped slavery just seven years earlier. The Narrative helped change the course of the U.S. Abolitionist Movement in the mid-nineteenth century and has been changing the lives of readers ever since.
FDFI wants to inspire and empower one million young people to do and be more than they ever dreamed possible. Working with schools, our organization has tackled human trafficking and modern day slavery through service-learning curricula and prevention education initiatives since 2007. How important is education? Douglass learned early that knowledge was his pathway to freedom. That lesson holds true today; for children and adults alike.
We invite you to explore this website and find out how you can join us to help inspire one million young people to become agents of change - just like Frederick Douglass!
One Million Abolitionists project launches at the Library of Congress!
Watch the CBS Channel 9 news report below.