Heart – noun \ˈhärt\
The definition of “heart” according to Merriam-Webster: a hollow muscular organ of vertebrate animals that by its rhythmic contraction acts as a force pump maintaining the circulation of the blood.
Don’t forget that this is Heart Health Month. Get yours checked if you haven’t recently. And take time to go to the American Heart Association’s website to learn the warning signs of a heart attack and heart disease. Did you know that the symptoms of a heart attack are different for women than they are for men? Know what they are before it’s too late for you or someone you care about.
“If there is no struggle there is no progress. . . . Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” — Frederick Douglass
Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born into slavery in Maryland around 1818. And although the year and date of his actual birth are unknown he eventually chose to celebrate on February 14. It was likely that his father was the owner of the plantation on which he was born. His mother died around the time that he was 10. He was taught the alphabet by a slave owner’s wife (in defiance of the ban against it). It was through reading that his ideological opposition to slavery grew.
At about 20 years of age, Douglass fell in love with a free black woman named Anna Murray. It was with her help that his third attempt to escape slavery in 1838 was successful. They married, settled in Massachusetts and adopted Douglass as their married name. Douglass became a frequent lecturer and in 1845 he wrote and published his first autobiography. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave became a best seller in the United States. He had to travel overseas to avoid recapture. While there his supporters in Britain raised the funds to purchase his freedom and he returned to the U.S. in 1847 a free man.
Interestingly, Douglass became the first African American nominated for vice president of the United States on the Equal Rights Party ticket in 1872. He was nominated without his knowledge or consent and never campaigned. Still his nomination marked the first time that an African American appeared on a presidential ballot. Frederick Douglass reportedly died of either a massive heart attack or stroke on February 20, 1895.