Thursday, June 11, 2020 — The American Writers Museum, the country’s first museum solely devoted to celebrating American writers and their works, is pleased to present a special reading of Frederick Douglass’s groundbreaking memoirNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slavein its entirety. The Agitator Broadcast will be preserved as part of the American Writers Museum’s nationally lauded exhibit Frederick Douglass: AGITATORand available to watch at AmericanWritersMuseum.org.
“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’,” adds 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.”
175 years later, his words remain all too relevant today. The Agitator Broadcast, a reading of his memoir in its entirety by twelve contemporary writers, scholars, activists, and a direct descendant of Frederick Douglass himself, aims to remind us of the depth of the pain and cruelty upon which our country was built, and how far we have yet to go to meet the true hope of equality that Douglass spent his life fighting and writing for. The featured readers are:
- Dr. Haki Madhubuti, Poet, Founder and Publisher Emeritus, Third World Press, Educator, and Institution Builder
- Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder
- Nora Brooks Blakely, Writer and President, Brooks Permissions; Daughter of Gwendolyn Brooks
- Maudlyne Ihejirika, Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times
- Layla F. Saad, Author, Me and White Supremacy
- Angélique Roché, Cultural Journalist
- Dr. John Stauffer, Professor of English and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University
- Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award-winning author & educator
- Mikki Kendall, Author, Hood Feminism and Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists
- Dr. Ivy Wilson, Professor of English and American Studies, Northwestern University
- Colin Johnson, Grandson of Maya Angelou, and Activist
- Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., Co-Founder & President of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, and great-great-great-grandson of Frederick Douglass.
The Agitator Broadcast is a robust addition to virtual re-creation of Frederick Douglass: AGITATOR. Originally on display from June 2018 – June 2019 at American Writers Museum, this nationally renowned display of Douglass’s life and literary works is now available to visitors around the world for free at FD-Agitator.org. The virtual exhibit also provides a wealth of educational resources to assist teachers and students with a meaningful, culturally relevant curriculum.