Frederick Douglass and Beyond
Community conversations about race and racism.
Frederick Douglass and Beyond
Please note: Vermont Humanities is currently focusing on contemporary issues of race and racism in the United States. Read our statement on the death of George Floyd and browse our growing list of opportunities to help.
While Frederick Douglass and his writings remain an important part of the history of race and racism in the United States, we will no longer be sponsoring stand-alone “Reading Frederick Douglass” programs as we have done over the last five years. Community feedback demonstrates that Vermonters are ready to go deeper and want to engage in change-making conversations about the impact of racism on Black communities and communities of color, both in Vermont and across the United States.
While reading Frederick Douglass’ work is a powerful experience for many, it can only be one piece of the long overdue conversations that our communities need to have. We hope that we can be a positive contributor to the conversation. Please visit our digital programs page to see the latest programming or browse the list below of recent virtual programs addressing these themes.
We thank you for your engagement.
Dr. Laura Jiménez joins Vermont State Librarian Jason Broughton to examine ways to lead effective discussions centered on diversity and antiracism.
Tim Wise, one of the leading anti-racist writers and educators in the country, gave a stirring keynote presentation at the St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Burlington for a ceremony remembering the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As monuments come down across the US, some decry that history is being erased. But what (and whose) history do monuments contain? Using several American and European monuments as examples, UVM Art History professor Kelley Di Dio explores why, when, and by whom these monuments were made, and considers what should be done with them.
In response to the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, Dr. Matthew Evan Taylor from Middlebury College created a musical composition. This video features selections from that recording as Dr. Taylor discusses his journey towards using music as an avenue for advocacy and activism.
Amherst College psychology professor Catherine Sanderson examines the factors that lead most of us to stay silent in the face of bad behavior, and how this tendency to stay silent allows such acts to continue.
Video: Rajnii Eddins shares his poetry and discusses how our stories can be used to confront racism and other injustices, affirm diversity and equity, and initiate community dialogue.
Video: Join Jarvis Green, producing artistic director at JAG Productions, as he leads a discussion with poet Major Jackson, choreographer Felicia Swoope, and writer Desmond Peeples about being Black culture bearers in Vermont during this time of protest and pandemic.
Video: a conversation on the condition of Black theatre during a time of death, betrayal, and global pandemic. Jarvis Green, producing artistic director at JAG Productions, leads a discussion with award-winning playwrights Keelay Gipson and Stacey Rose.
Video: Drawing from his documentary film “Man on Fire,” Middlebury professor James Sanchez discusses the rhetoric of white supremacy and suggests ways communities might address bigotry.
Video: Yale historian David Blight, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History for his biography “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” tells Douglass’s story: an escaped slave who became one of the leading abolitionists, orators, and writers of his era.