Frederick Douglass and Beyond

Community conversations about race and racism.

Frederick Douglass and Beyond

Please note: we are continuing to evaluate the Frederick Douglass programming to incorporate more community feedback, and we are assessing the feasibility of in-person events due to Covid-19 restrictions. We will post updates to this page and to our social media channels.

Douglass Program Expands to Include Contemporary Works

We’re offering Vermont communities a chance to open conversations about around race and racism through a revamped program that uses the work of Frederick Douglass in concert with works by contemporary authors as starting points for community engagement.

With the assistance of Mass Humanities, Vermont Humanities launched Reading Frederick Douglass in 2014. Since then, the program has grown dramatically in popularity, but some Vermonters felt like we needed to go deeper. We consulted with people of color living in Vermont on how to strengthen the Reading Frederick Douglass program.

Although communities can still choose to host public readings of Douglass’ Independence Day speech, we now strongly encourage these communities to also engage with more contemporary writings on race and racism from a variety of sources.

We hope that these readings can help place Douglass’s words in the larger context of the African American experience, from slavery to the present day.