Experts to Discuss Frederick Douglass’ Life and Legacy October 18
Press Release · Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Washington, DC

On Thursday, October 18, at 7 p.m., we celebrate the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’ birth with a special program titled:  Frederick Douglass, 19th Century Civil Rights Activist: His Legacy Today.  

This program is presented in partnership with the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (National Park Service), the Frederick Douglass Family Initiative, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

John Whittington Franklin, senior manager in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Office of External Affairs, will moderate a panel including: David Blight, professor of history, Yale University; Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, national president and chair, Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and professor of history, Harvard University; and, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., co-founder and president, Frederick Douglass Family Initiative.

The event will include a special appearance by Frederick Douglass himself -- portrayed by Phil Darius Wallace!  Book signings of the bicentennial edition of autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, and Professor Blight’s book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, will follow the discussion.

This special event will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C. and live streamed on YouTube. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW.  This public program is free to the public, but reservations are recommended and can be made online.

The National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, is Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. For upcoming programs, visit the Calendar of Events online:

Related online resources:

Lesson plan:  Petition for Woman Suffrage Signed by Frederick Douglass, Jr.

Public Program:  Frederick Douglass: The Meaning of July 4th for the Negro

Online Documented Rights exhibit features records relating to Frederick Douglass

Public Program:  The Lincoln-Douglas(s) Debates: Known and Unknown


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For media inquiries, please contact: National Archives Public and Media Communications at (202) 357-5300 or via email at

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This page was last reviewed on October 2, 2018.
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