Frederick Douglass: Images & Words

WED, FEB 14, 2018 (00:00)

In commemoration of Frederick Douglass' 200th birthday and the Museum of African American History's acclaimed exhibit, Picturing Frederick Douglass: The Most Photographed American of the 19th Century, join us for a panel discussion and Q&A with some of the leading experts on Frederick Douglass's life and legacy.

+ BIO: Marita Rivero

Marita Rivero oversees the programming, marketing, and administration of WGBH's TV and radio stations and Web site. On the radio side, this includes WGBH 89.7 in Boston; WGBH's Cape and Islands NPR(R) station WCAI; and All-Classical WGBH. WGBH's television services include WGBH 2 and 44, WGBH World, WGBH Create, 'GBH Kids, WGBH HD, WGBH On Demand, and Boston Kids & Family TV. Rivero also oversees WGBH's national radio production activity; its local television production unit, Boston Media Productions; and its Web site,

Rivero was named manager of WGBH Radio in 1988. Award-winning radio productions developed under her leadership include the daily global news program The World, the Marketplace Health Desk, Sound & Spirit, and the international music service Art of the States. She also served as Executive-in-Charge of WGBH's Peabody Award-winning multimedia project Africans in America. Rivero has developed's WGBH Forum Network; WGBH's podcasting efforts and satellite radio services; and a substantial community partnership program with media, arts, and education partners.

Rivero began her broadcast career at WGBH in 1970 as a producer of public affairs television, including Say Brother, one of the nation's oldest weekly series by, for, and about African Americans. She served as general manager of WPFW, Washington, DC's Pacifica radio station, from 1981 to 1988. Rivero has been honored with several awards for her achievements, among them, a 2007 Pinnacle Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, for Achievement in Arts & Education; the first Image Award for Vision and Excellence from Women in Film and Video/New England; and induction into the YWCA's Academy of Women Achievers. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for NPR.

+ BIO: Jabari Asim

Jabari Asim, the former deputy editor of Washington Post's Book World. He is now the editor of the NAACP's magazine, The Crisis. He authored, The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn't and Why, in 2007, and was interviewed on Book TV on 5 May 2007. He is also the author of a book on erotica, Brown Sugar, as well as numerous books for children, among them, Daddy Goes to Work.

+ BIO: Jeffrey Amestoy

Jeffrey Amestoy became the 38th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Vermont on January 31, 1997, appointed by Governor Howard Dean. Amestoy began his career in public service in 1974 as legal counsel for the Governor's Commission on the Administration of Justice. He served as Assistant Attorney General from 1974-1981 where his responsibilities included prosecution of white-collar crime and judicial misconduct. After earning a Master's degree at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 1982 he was appointed Commissioner of Labor and Industry for Vermont where he served before running for Attorney General.

Amestoy was first elected Attorney General of Vermont in 1984 and was re-elected six times. In five of those elections he was the nominee of the Republican and Democratic parties. In 1992-1993 Amestoy served as President of the National Association of Attorneys General. In 1999 Amestoy was author of the Vermont Supreme Court's opinion in Baker v. State which held that same-sex couples were constitutionally entitled to the rights and benefits of marriage. The court ordered the Vermont legislature to craft a law that would satisfy the ruling, either by legalizing gay marriage or by creating an equivalent partnership structure.

+ BIO: John Stauffer

John Stauffer writes and lectures on the Civil War era, antislavery, social protest movements, and visual culture. He is the author of seven books and more than 45 articles, including The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race (2002), which won four major awards, including the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, the Avery Craven Book Award, and the Lincoln Prize runner-up.

His essays have appeared in Time Magazine, Raritan, New York Post, 21st: The Journal of Contemporary Photography, and The Harvard Review; and he has appeared on national radio and television shows. His new book, GIANTS: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, was published in November 2008. Currently, John is completing a book with Sally Jenkins on radical interracialism and Unionism in Civil War era Mississippi. The story, Free State of Jones, will appear as a major motion picture by the filmmaker Gary Ross, with whom John served as a scholarly consultant.

John received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1999, began teaching at Harvard that year, and was tenured in 2004. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife, Deborah Cunningham, and their two-year-old son, Erik Isaiah Stauffer.

+ BIO: Honorable Patti B. Saris

United States District Judge Patti B. Saris was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and has resided in the Boston area for most of her life. She is a graduate of Radcliffe College '73 and Harvard Law School '76.

After graduating from law school, she clerked for the Supreme Judicial Court, and then went into private practice. When Senator Edward M. Kennedy became chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, she moved to Washington D.C. and worked as staff counsel. She later became an Assistant United States Attorney, and eventually chief of the Civil Division. In 1986, Judge Saris became a United States Magistrate Judge, and in 1989, she was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. In 1994, she was appointed to the United States District Court by President Clinton. She became Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission in January, 2011.

Museum of African American History