Frederick Douglass AGITATOR features Douglass’ personal artifacts including his inkwell and eyeglasses, excerpts from his speeches and writings, and an original copy of The Reason Why pamphlet he and Ida B. Wells distributed to protest African-American exclusion from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The exhibit focuses on Douglass’s wide-ranging activism and explores the persuasiveness techniques of his writing, all the while reminding visitors of the power of literacy.
“In his 1845 memoir, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, he described learning to read as his ‘pathway from slavery to freedom’,” says American Writers Museum president Carey Cranston. “Frederick Douglass escaped slavery to become one of the most eloquent voices of abolitionism and his words remain a touchstone for anyone fighting inequality or pushing America to fulfill its promise of ensuring equality for all.”
During Black History Month, the Museum’s fun and engaging Storytellers will guide visitors on 20-minute Frederick Douglass-themed tours through the Museum. On these tours, visitors will learn how Douglass’s writing affected the nation, and why his words continue to be relevant today. Along the way, they’ll explore the abolitionists who came before Douglass and the impact they had on him, as well as the writers who were influenced by Douglass and how their writing carried his activism forward. Guided tours take place every day at 12:30pm and 3:30pm throughout the month of February.
An upcoming program offered in conjunction with Frederick Douglass AGITATOR is a lecture with Tom Chaffin, author of Giant’s Causeway: Frederick Douglass’s Irish Odyssey and the Making of an American Visionary on March 13 at 6:30 p.m.
Frederick Douglass AGITATOR opened June 2018 in the Roberta Rubin Writer’s Room and is sponsored by Allstate Insurance Company (Lead Sponsor), Wintrust (Partner Sponsor), and several generous individuals. Artifacts have been graciously loaned by Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, an American Writers Museum Author Home Affiliate.