Until she spoke, no Christian nation had abolished Negro slavery.
Until she spoke, no Christian nation had given to the world an organized effort to abolish slavery.
Until she spoke, the slave ship, followed by hungry sharks, greedy to devour the dead and dying slaves flung overboard to feed them, ploughed in peace the South Atlantic, painting the sea with the Negro's blood.
Until she spoke, the slave trade was sanctioned by all the Christian nations of the world, and our land of liberty and light included. Men made fortunes by this infernal traffic, and were esteemed as good Christians, and the standing types and representations of the Savior of the World.
Until Haiti spoke, the church was silent, and the pulpit was dumb. Slave-traders lived and slave-traders died. Funeral sermons were preached over them, and of them it was said that they died in the triumphs of the Christian faith and went to heaven among the just.
This segment was extracted from Lecture on Haiti, by Frederick Douglass and edited in its present form by Guy S. Antoine in July 1998.