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African-American Women in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union

Document 7

Frederick Douglass, a prominent African-American activist, condemned remarks made by Frances Willard, president of the WCTU, that he and other African-Americans believed condoned lynching:

       And now comes the sweet voice of a Northern woman, Miss Frances Willard, of the W.C.T.U., distinguished among her sisters for benevolence and Christian charity. She speaks in the same bitter tone and hurls the same blasting accusation. She says in a letter now before me, 'I pity the Southerners. The problem in their hands is immeasurable. The colored race multiplies like the locusts of Egypt. The safety of women, of childhood, of the home, is menaced in a thousand localities at this moment, so that men do not dare go beyond the sight of their own roof tree.' Such, then, is the crushing indictment drawn up against the Southern Negroes, drawn up, too, by persons who are perhaps the fairest and most humane of the Negro's accusers. Yet even they paint him as a moral monster, ferociously invading the sacred rights of woman and endangering the home of the whites.

-- Excerpt from Frederick Douglass, "Why is the Negro Lynched?"
in the pamphlet, The Lesson of the Hour, 1894

12. According to Douglass, what did Willard say that portrayed African-American men as monsters?

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