Frederick Douglass is a towering figure in the history of the African American struggle for equality and civic inclusion in the United States. However, Douglass also has a place in Dublin history, because of his visit to the city in 1845. His work with Dublin printer and abolitionist Richard D. Webb to publish a European edition of his slave narrative, his meeting with Daniel O’Connell at Conciliation Hall, his empathy with the doomed Irish peasantry of the 1840s, and the achievement of a level of personal freedom unimaginable in his home country, all led Douglass to declare that he lived a new life here.
At 6pm on Tuesday October 25th, Cecelia Hartsell will discuss Douglass’s life-changing visit to Dublin and the ways in which it shaped and expanded his worldview, giving him an understanding of the chains of suffering that linked the oppressed in Ireland to the oppressed in America, and influencing his life’s work as an abolitionist and advocate for human rights.
I can truly say, I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life since landing in this country. I seem to have undergone a transformation.
I live a new life.
Cecelia Hartsell is a U.S. historian, specialising in African American history and American social history. Since moving to Ireland in 2015, she has been a contributor to the RTE History Show and frequently gives U.S. history talks for the Dublin Festival of History, the Hinterland Festival of Literature and Arts – Kells, and the Dublin public libraries. She has presented many talks on the relationship Douglass had with Ireland.
Clare Daly MEP will be introducing the event, with information about a new proposal to eliminate all products made with forced labour from the EU. This will apply to domestic products, exports, and imports alike; and will make a real difference in tackling modern-day slavery, which affects an estimated 27 million people around the globe.