Frederick Douglass speech “What the Black Man Wants” 1865

Given at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society days before the end of the Civil War, Douglass argues in favor of suffrage for Blacks, as well as equality, rather than generosity.

Douglass wants Blacks to be allowed to fail or succeed on their own.

He also points out the irony that Blacks have been considered citizens in time of war but aliens in time of peace.

We have included an excerpt from the speech, along with questions and answers.

For more on this time period check out our PowerPoints:

  • Slavery in America
  • Expansion and Reform: The United States from 1829-1860
  • Causes of the Civil War
  • The Civil War
  • Reconstruction: 1863-1877
  • Also check out our simulation games: