A reading of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

The Agitator Broadcast

A Reading of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

In 1845, Frederick Douglass published his memoir Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Sadly, 175 years later, his words remain all too relevant today. 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, we present a reading of his memoir in its entirety featuring contemporary writers, scholars, and activists reading his work. We hope that you will hear the demands for dignity today echoing the words of history, and take up the cause of dismantling white supremacy, for which Douglass had a simple command: “Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!”

How to watch:
View the full reading on YouTube beginning at 12:00 pm Central.

Due to video length limits on Facebook, we have split the reading into two parts. Part 1 premieres at 12:00 pm Central, while Part 2 premieres at 2:00 pm Central.

Featured Readers:

  • 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

Following the premiere of these readings, they will all be available in their entirety on YouTube and Facebook. Follow us and subscribe to see more.

The event is finished.


Jun 11 2020


12:00 pm

More Info



Live on YouTube

4 thoughts on “The Agitator Broadcast

  1. Erica Townes says:

    In my hometown Key West Florida there’s a community /recreation center that’s named after Frederick Douglass but at Key West High School they never really spoke or taught much about him.

    • American Writers Museum says:

      Hi Erica,

      I had a similar experience growing up in New Mexico. I’m glad I’ve had a chance to become more educated about this amazing man! If you’d like to learn more before or after the broadcast, please visit FD-Agitator.org to see our virtual exhibit. You can also find out more about his home from the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site at nps.gov/frdo


    • American Writers Museum says:

      Hi Janice,

      Thanks for stopping by! You can subscribe to our newsletter for information about upcoming events at the bottom of any page of this website. You can also subscribe to our blog at americanwritersmuseum.org/blog to get notifications of new reading recommendation lists as they are published. Generally, we do not publish book reviews, but will occasionally highlight specific books written by those featured in the Museum or coming in for programs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to content