A week-long event commemorating the life of US abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass will take place in Cork City and Washington DC starting February 10.
The 2nd annual #DouglassWeek will run from February 10-15 and feature both virtual and in-person events in the two cities that pay tribute to the famous writer, orator, suffragist, and abolitionist.
Both Cork and Washington played important parts in Douglass's life. He moved to Washington 150 years ago and lived there for 20 years, while he stayed in Cork for three weeks during a visit to Ireland in 1845 and 1846.
Douglass, who was advised to flee the US after the release of his book "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave", became inspired by Irish emancipation leader Daniel O'Connell and gave a series of anti-slavery speeches to large audiences while staying in Cork.
Last year, the inaugural Douglass Week celebrated the 175th anniversary of Douglass's visit to Ireland.
Douglass Week 2022 will include a series of engaging discussions called Douglass Dialogues, a special walking tour of the “Cork Abolitionists Trail” tracing Douglass’s footsteps in Cork, and a 5k fun run.
It will also feature a star-studded celebration at Arena Stage in Washington on Valentine's Day to mark Douglass's birthday.
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All of the Douglass Week events will explore his importance to both Cork and his impact on contemporary issues of identity, race, independence, and equal rights.
Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Colm Kelleher will officially open the week-long event at 12 p.m. on Thursday, February 10 by opening Cork City Library's Frederick Douglass in Ireland exhibition.
On Friday, Dr. Hannah-Rose Murray from the University of Edinburgh will be leading a virtual walking tour and talk exploring Douglass's second and third trips to the UK and Ireland, while the "In His Footsteps" 5k fun run will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Hosted by the Sanctuary Runners Ireland and other running groups, The Frederick Douglass Memorial World Run, 5K Run/Walk will take place in cities around the world connected with Douglass.
Frederick Douglass descendant Kenneth Morris Jr. and University of Edinburgh Professor Celeste-Marie Bernie will discuss Douglass and the inspirational women of the Douglass family during the inaugural Douglass Dialogues event: "Our Race May be Free - Part 1", which will be live-streamed at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Cork historian Dr. Laurence Fenton will lead a walking tour of the Cork Abolitionist Trail at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, while Hamilton's Paul Oakley Stovall and Dear Evan Hansen's Nikhil Saboo will be joining a live-streamed event at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, February 14 to celebrate Douglass's birthday.
The event, entitled "Frederick Douglass and the Douglass Family: A Commemoration in Word & Song", will also feature Morris Jr., Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Grammy-award winning songwriter Marcus Hummon, and Irish Ambassador to the US Dan Mulhall among many others.
For a comprehensive list of Douglass Week 2022 events, click here.