Discussion groups shared their thoughts on
the readings at the UD event and at a related “read-a-thon” held that
evening at the African American Museum of Philadelphia.
In addition to the discussions, UD’s celebration included a dramatic
reading of Douglass’ 1883 Louisville speech by Hassan El-Amin, an actor
with the University’s Resident Ensemble Players.
Speakers from UD and the community
paid tribute to Douglass, and members of the Sanctuary Choir from Bethel
AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware, sang the spiritual “Ride On, King
Jesus.” The festivities also featured a cake for Douglass’ 201st
Similar events were held at 55 other locations, as far away as Turkey, with the CCP event shared via livestream.
“To me, Douglass Day is about community,” said Carol Henderson, UD’s
vice provost for diversity and professor of English and of Africana
studies. “When we elevate one community, we elevate us all.”
Read-a-thon in Philadelphia
Faculty, students and staff who work with the CCP continued the
Douglass Day celebration at the African American Museum of Philadelphia.
The event was described as an evening to celebrate Black love stories and to celebrate love and perseverance through struggle.
The well-attended event drew participants from throughout the area
and featured a read-a-thon, with multiple discussion groups taking part
in intergenerational conversations. A focus of much of the discussion
was on ways to apply Douglass’ 19th century philosophies to the
struggles of today.
In addition, the museum hosted winners of the "Frederick Douglass Day
Words of Influence Contest" for ages 10-13 and 17-21, who wrote poems,
and ages 14-16, who wrote essays. Contest winners received gift cards
and were invited to publicly present their work.
Article by Ann Manser, with information from UD doctoral student Adam McNeil; photos by Evan Krape