Despite being a slave, Frederick Douglass (1818?–1895) learned to read and write. At age 21, he escaped from slavery and created a new life for himself as a free man. Intelligent and charismatic, Douglass became the leading voice against slavery in the 1800s. "There is no way a nation can call itself free and accept slavery," he said. The McKissacks’ lively, easy-to-read text highlights the importance of this internationally known author and orator.