Frederick Douglass was a prominent African American who lived in 19th-century America and fought for the abolition of the slave trade through his work as an orator, statesman, and writer. He constantly challenged the prevailing attitudes of the times regarding race and color, making him both a controversial as well as a heroic figure in American history. He is remembered as one of the first African Americans to take a prominent role in public life, promoting equality and human rights for all, through his position in high public office. His legacy continues today in the ongoing fight for racial equality, both in the United States and beyond. His life was one of controversy as he strove to achieve the equalities which are now largely taken for granted. He received threats to his life, as well as making many enemies amongst those who believed that slavery should remain an active force throughout the US. Throughout his life he fought for what he believed to be right, often at great personal costs. But it was his unique insight into slavery, he himself having been raised a slave, which gave credence to his arguments in favor of its abolition. Never before had an African American found such a prominent platform in the public eye, and he used it not for personal gain, but in order that he might help his fellow men and women to win the freedom he himself eventually enjoyed.