Armchair historians like Colin Kaepernick often quote Frederick Douglass when making disingenuous points about civil rights history.
Douglass is too often misquoted or valuable context is ignored, most persistently in regards to Abraham Lincoln and emancipation.
In history, context does matter.
Frederick Douglass is often cited as proof that slaves never cared for Lincoln or his deeds. Ignoring context, Douglass is cited as the authoritative critic of Lincoln….
“you (white people) are the children of Abraham Lincoln. We are at best only his step-children.”
This disingenuous, lazy, line of reasoning… has created a terrible myth about the creation of the civil rights movement. Failure to place words in a proper context have terrible implications on historical interpretation. In the same speech, Frederick Douglass explained to his predominately white audience, his true feelings for Abraham Lincoln:
“Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined…. infinite wisdom has seldom sent any man into the world better fitted for his mission than Abraham Lincoln.” Frederick Douglass April 14, 1876