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The Abolitionists | Clip

Abolitionist Allies Fall Out

After the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, the abolition of slavery takes on a new urgency for formerly enslaved people. Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison no longer see eye to eye, and they have a falling out. “On the one level, you hate to reduce it to race. On the other, it's a reality,” says historian Lois Brown. “No matter how many stories Garrison hears, no matter how many coffles he sees, no matter how many mothers he can imagine and conjure up, Douglass has had that experience. Garrison is a white man in a white man's America.”

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