People in conversation

Talking About Frederick Douglass Together

This virtual event will help Massachusetts residents explore the issues, ideas, and impact of Frederick Douglass's speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” as well as its intersections with the values, experiences, and issues of our current era.

After a reading of Douglass's speech, participants will be be broken out into small groups where they will be invited to join a Reflected Structured Dialogue inspired by the text.

Dialogue provides the opportunity for people to know themselves, one another, and their communities in new and deeper ways, strengthening the foundations of a free and open democracy.

Running your own event? Designing a lesson plan? Download our free dialogue guide!

Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery in 1838 and lived for many years in Massachusetts. Douglass was the most celebrated public speaker of his day as well as an internationally renowned public intellectual and abolitionist. He delivered the Fourth of July speech on July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, to the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society.

This event is made possible by a generous grant from Mass Humanities, providing funding through “A More Perfect Union,” a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Mass Humanities and NEH logos


June 30, 2022
4:30–6:00 PM Eastern Time


Online Via Zoom
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States


Regular Fee


Katie Hyten is co–Executive Director of Essential Partners.