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An Evening with David Blight

May 15, 2019 7:00 PM — 8:30 PM


Join the Concord Museum in welcoming renowned historians David Blight and John Stauffer as they discuss one of the most important people of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped enslaved man who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era.




David Blight discusses his remarkable biography drawing on new information held in a private collection that few other historians have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers. There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century. David Blight’s Frederick Douglass affords this important American the distinguished biography he deserves.


About David Blight

David W. Blight is a teacher, scholar, and public historian. At Yale University he is Class of 1954 Professor of American History, joining that faculty in January 2003. As of June 2004, he is Director, succeeding David Brion Davis, of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. In his capacity as director of the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale, Blight organizes conferences, working groups, lectures, the administering of the annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize, and many public outreach programs regarding the history of slavery and its abolition.  He previously taught at Amherst College for thirteen years. In 2013-14 he was the William Pitt Professor of American History at Cambridge University, UK, and in 2010-11, Blight was the Rogers Distinguished Fellow in 19th century American History at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.   During the 2006-07 academic year, he was a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars, New York Public Library.  His latest book is a new full biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, published in October 2018 by Simon and Schuster.  Blight works in many capacities in the world of public history, including on boards of museums and historical societies, and as a member of a small team of advisors to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum team of curators.


About John Stauffer

John Stauffer is a leading authority on antislavery, the Civil War era, social protest movements, and photography. At Harvard University he is Professor of English and American Literature, American Studies and African American Studies. His 19 books include The Black Hearts of Men: Radical Abolitionists and the Transformation of Race (2002), Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln (2008), and The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song That Marches On (2013). Two of his books were national bestsellers and several have won numerous awards. Additionally, Stauffer authored more than 50 academic articles and his essays have also appeared in Time, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New Republicand the Washington Post, among other places. He is the editor of 21st Editions, has served as a consultant for the traveling exhibition War/Photography, and has co-curated an exhibition on Douglass and Melville at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

In partnership with the Concord Free Public Library, Minute Man National Park, Fenn School, Mass Humanities, The Umbrella, Concord Bookshop, Friends of Minute Man National Historic Park, The Old Manse, Thoreau Society, The Robbins House, The Walden Woods Project, First Parish in Concord Transcendentalism Council, and other cultural partners.

David Blight’s biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, will be available for purchasing and signing in partnership with the Concord BookshopThis program is supported in part by the Sally Lanagan Fund and grants from the Concord Cultural Council, the Lexington Council for the Arts, and the Lincoln Cultural Council –  local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


Free.  Register here. Please note this program is hosted at the Fenn School’ Ward Hall.


May 15, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Fenn School
516 Monument Street
Concord, MA 01742 United States
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