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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1575
AUTHOR: Frederick Douglass (c. 1817–95)
QUOTATION: For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
ATTRIBUTION: FREDERICK DOUGLASS, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?,” address delivered in Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852.—The Frederick Douglass Papers, ed. John W. Blassingame, series 1, vol. 2, p. 371 (1982).