The year is 1845.  The day:  Monday, April 28th.  The place: LYNN, Massachusetts. 

Frederick Augustus Bailey has just finished writing a Narrative of his life.  Enslaved on a succession of plantations under scurrilous law, he's deemed a “slave for life.”  Now, he's a thief, too; having "stolen himself" from the clutches of America's slavocracy for the promise of freedom.

Join us as actor, OLIVER KING, retraces the “rebirth” of Bailey--his retaking of his life and remaking of himself as FREDERICK DOUGLASS: abolitionist, Underground Railroad conductor, orator, publisher, statesman, anti-slavery crusader, women’s rights champion.

How ironic it is that here--at the bi-centennial of his birth--we are living in time when Americans would “take America back” to an unacceptable time.  We watch, horrified, as the Administration re-normalizes the spectacle of putting people of color into shackles, of seizing children from their parents, of casting them in pens,  of destroying the lives of far too many to appease and stoke the hatreds and grudges of a few.

In this America, Douglass’ most famous speech, "What to the Negro is the Fourth of July?" (delivered July 5, 1852) is not just history; it's a matter of national urgency.  Actor, OLIVER KING, is the voice of Frederick Douglass in his own words--a man of his times with a message for ours.​  

Hear the show streamed live Saturdays at 4:00 pm on WJFF Radio Catskill.  Subscribe to our podcast (uploaded every Monday) and listen to past shows on SoundCloud.

Tags: African American, Frederick Douglass, Emancipation, Freedom, History, July 4, Independence Day, Oliver King, I Love NY, Rochester, Slavery 

FREDERICK DOUGLASS:  

WHAT TO THE 'NEGRO' IS THE FOURTH OF JULY?

Music heard on this week's show: 

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