Haiti: What Would Frederick Douglass Say?
Registration for this program is now closed.
Frederick Douglass, a leading 19th century African American abolitionist, was deeply inspired by the Haitian Revolution. In this event on Sunday, June 4, noted Haitian storyteller Charlot Lucien will explore some of Douglass’s powerful speeches on Haiti, which offered African Americans new perspectives on revolution and helped counter negative narratives about Haiti during the antebellum era.
This exciting event encompasses poetry, music, scholarship, and storytelling in Creole, English, and French. Lucien will channel Douglass by performing some of his most famous speeches on Haiti and imagining his perspectives on key events in Haitian history, such as the United States’ 1806 embargo of Haiti and France’s decision to impose a crushing debt on the Haitian people in return for acknowledging its independence. The character of Douglass will be placed in conversation with white abolitionist Wendell Phillips, portrayed by Joseph Bocchicchio, and Susan B. Anthony, portrayed by Lynn Smith.
Douglass’s connections to Haiti run deep: He served in 1889-1891 as the United States’ first accredited Black ambassador in Haiti under President Benjamin Harrison. He later represented Haiti in 1893 at the International Chicago Fair, where he delivered a fierce speech in defense of Haiti.
This program is free and open to the public, and will begin at 3:00 pm. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided. Made possible by the generous support of The Lowell Institute, this program is co-sponsored by Haitian-Americans United, Inc., the Haitian Artists Assembly of Massachusetts, and Trilingual Press.