Mary Prince was born into slavery in Devonshire Parish, Bermuda. While she was later living in London, her autobiography, The History of Mary Prince, was the first account of the life of a black woman to be published in the United Kingdom.
Booker T. Washington was of the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants, who were newly oppressed by disfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws. He mastered the nuances of the political arena in the late 19th century which enabled him to manipulate the media, raise money, strategize, network, and distribute funds.
“This is no fiction, no exaggeration. If I have failed in anything, it has been in presenting to the reader too prominently the bright side of the picture. I doubt not hundreds have been as unfortunate as myself; that hundreds of free citizens have been kidnapped and sold into slavery, and are at this moment wearing out their lives on plantations in Texas and Louisiana. “
Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, c. February 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an African-American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory skills and incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders’ arguments that slaves did not have the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens.