Beyond Slavery: Frederick Douglass & the Quest for Universal Rights

Civil War to Civil Rights IconBeyond Slavery: Frederick Douglass and the Quest for Universal Rights

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 . 7:30PM
Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass
Principal People: 

Department of History, University of Maryland Ira Berlin

Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing, Hunter College Colum McCann

Vice President for Research, University of Maryland Patrick O'Shea

Associate Dean, College of Arts and Humanities, University of Maryland Sheri L. Parks

Moderator Kojo Nnamdi

Event Attributes

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In 1845, as Ireland was descending into the despair of the great famine, Frederick Douglass arrived for a four-month lecture tour of the island to promote his recently published autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave.

Seven years earlier, Douglass had escaped slavery in Maryland but was greeted in Dublin, Belfast, and Cork by enthusiastic crowds and formed many friendships on his trip. One of the most significant friendships was with Daniel O'Connell, a figure still revered in Ireland today for his role in Catholic emancipation and his fierce opposition to slavery.

This conversation will feature writer and educator Colum McCann, author of TransAtlantic and cofounder of Narrative4, a global nonprofit dedicated to social change. He will be joined by UMD professors Ira Berlin, Patrick O’Shea and Sheri Parks as we explore the influence Douglass had on religious freedom, gender issues and slavery.

This project was made possible by a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Maryland Humanities Council.

Creative Dialogues is a free conversation series designed to inspire cross-disciplinary conversations around issues that inspire and motivate artists to create their work.

Civil War to Civil Rights

This event is part of our Civil War to Civil Rights: The Well-Being of a Nation series.

Full video of the dialogue