February 14, 2024

Love is more than a box of chocolates…

This Valentine’s Day may mean chocolate and flowers to some, diamonds to others, but to me, love is more than a feeling. 

Real love is an action.

This day I remember you for your sacrifice, your support and for the joy you bring to those we serve—students, mothers and their children. 

I cannot thank you enough.

We also remember the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Although no official record of his birthday exists, it is commonly attributed to Valentine’s Day, because his mother called him her “little valentine.”

Tomorrow we will celebrate Susan B. Anthony’s birthday on February 15. 

Anthony and Douglass disagreed for a while when Douglass wanted Black men to get the vote first. He argued this because Black men had to fight in the Civil War, while Anthony supported universal suffrage for all American adults regardless of race or gender.  

Douglass would become a trusted confident of Abraham Lincoln. Later, Anthony and Douglass would reunite once again for the cause of women’s suffrage.

Douglass was awarded a great honor at a meeting of suffragists in Washington, D.C., when Anthony was asked to escort him to join the officers on the dais. And when he passed later that night at his home, the New York Times reported that Anthony was visibly shaken.

She would go on with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others, but neither would see their most cherished dream of women’s suffrage realized.

I encourage you to read Damian Geminder’s charming and insightful tribute to Douglass here. Our late editor (who started at FFL on Susan B. Anthony’s birthday), points out that these two champions of suffrage were laid to rest in the same cemetery in Rochester, New York. 

So as we work towards a day when the suffragists’ unrealized dream for mothers to be supported and their children to live, I wish you a happy Valentine’s Day for the love and support you have given.

Serrin M. Foster