Tracy Turnblad and Frederick Douglass

I’m not sure how this Frederick Douglass quote ended up on a piece of paper hanging in my home, but it’s informed my politics for a long time:

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.

The kids and I (and their cousin Patrick) were watching Hairspray last night and I was struck by Tracy Turnblad’s turn as political philosopher:

I think I’ve kind of been in a bubble… thinking that fairness was gonna just happen. It’s not. People like me are gonna have to get up off their fathers’ laps and go out and fight for it.

That notion – that you have to work (often long and often hard) for change – is missing from a lot of kids media. Here’s to working to change that.

PS – Wikipedia’s Frederick Douglass page has some good links to kid-friendly material including age-appropriate books.

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