Our Bondage and Our Freedom: The Frederick Douglass Family’s “Struggle for Liberty”
While there have been many public Frederick Douglasses – Douglass the abolitionist, Douglass the statesman, Douglass the autobiographer, Douglass the orator, Douglass the editor, Douglass the politician – as we commemorate his bicentennial in 2018, it is time to trace the private life of Douglass as a family man. Sharing untold stories, this talk traces the activism, artistry and authorship of Frederick Douglass not in isolation but alongside the sufferings and struggles for survival of his daughters and sons: Rosetta, Lewis Henry, Frederick Jr., Charles Remond and Annie Douglass. As activists, educators, campaigners, civil rights protesters, newspaper editors, orators, essayists, and historians in their own right, Rosetta, Lewis Henry, Frederick Jr., Charles Remond and Annie Douglass played a vital role in the freedom struggles of their father. They were no less afraid to sacrifice everything they had as they each fought for Black civic, cultural, political, and social liberties by every means necessary. Working with unpublished writings, letters and speeches and photographs, we learn that the fight for freedom was a family business to which all the Douglasses dedicated their lives as their rallying cry lives on to inspire today’s activism: “Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!”
Celeste-Marie Bernier is Professor of Black Studies and Personal Chair in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of African American Visual Arts; Characters of Blood: Black Heroism in the Transatlantic Imagination; Suffering and Sunset; World War I in the Art and Life of Horace Pippin; Stick to the Skin: African American and Black British Art (1965-2015).
- Monday, September 10, 2018
- 6:30pm - 8:00pm
- Central - Rundel Second Floor Conference Room
- Central Library