Frederick Douglass: Orator for the Ages

FRI, APR 8, 2016 (44:23)

On July 5th, 1852, Frederick Douglass told a group of abolitionists in Rochester, NY, “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.” Join Harvard professor and Mass Humanities board member John Stauffer as he discusses the significance of Douglass's speech in its time, the public programs it has inspired, and its resonance in 21st-century America.

+ 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.

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