New Bedford Celebrates Frederick Douglass

New Bedford Celebrates Frederick Douglass
and his Journey from Slavery to the Heights of the Abolitionist Movement

Experience the dynamic legacy of the Frederick Douglass and the Underground Railroad in New Bedford. Douglass, a noted orator, writer, publisher, politician, entrepreneur, political activist, and advisor to Presidents, began his free life in New Bedford after escaping from slavery via the Underground Railroad. Explore New Bedford’s role in shaping his destiny as the most important black American leader of the 19th century, through performing arts, museum exhibits, historic landmarks, film and literature! The New Bedford Historical Society, The New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center come together to present programs highlighting Douglass remarkable life throughout the month of February 2014. 


14th Annual Frederick Douglass Community Read-a-thonThe New Bedford Historical Society presents
First Unitarian Church, 71 Eighth Street Sunday, February 9, 2-6pm - 
Hear the Narrative of “The Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave”


Film presentation of “Profiles in Courage: Frederick Douglass”
Cook Memorial Theater at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill Monday-Friday, February 17-21, 2-3pm -
A film about  Frederick Douglass, the noted African-American fugitive slave, who risked his freedom with his public crusade against slavery, in the mid-19th century.


Film Premiere of “North Star” 
Cook Memorial Theater at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill Friday, February 28, 6-7pm - Free
“North Star” is a documentary created by the Youth Ambassador Program (YAP!): In the summer of 2013, YAP! participants from New Bedford were invited to travel to Washington D.C. and were presented with the challenge of researching, writing, recording, and performing a hip hop song about the Underground Railroad. The result of all their hard work is “North Star” View the Documentary Trailer HERE  

Tour The Nathan and Polly Johnson House17-21 Seventh Street, New BedfordFriday, February 28, noon-4pm - Free
The National Historic Landmark and the first free home of Frederick Douglass will be open to visitors. This event is hosted by the New Bedford Historical Society. www.nbhistoricalsociety.orgDownload the map of important Douglass and Underground Railroad landmarks in New Bedford HERE


Frederick Douglass: In the Shadow of Slavery
Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, 684 Purchase StreetSchoolTime Performance: Grades 8-12
Friday, February 28, 10am - Tickets: $11Main Stage Performance
Friday, February 28 at 8pm - Tickets from $
Come to The Z for a highly suspenseful and provocative theater adventure that barrels headfirst into the dramatic complexities of American and New Bedford history. Journey with Douglass through his heartbreaking childhood as a plantation slave to his pivotal friendship with Abraham Lincoln. Douglass is portrayed by actor Mel Johnson Jr., who most recently appeared in Broadway’s “Jekyll & Hyde.” Arrive early at 6pm to catch the Zeiterion’s free Page-to-Stage Book Group discussing “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” by Frederick Douglass.


The Tender Heart and Brave 
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Theater, 33 William Street
March 1, 1:00PM – Free
The Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site has put together collaboratively with Boston African American National Historic Site a dramatic reading called "The Tender Heart and Brave."  This dramatic reading portrays the close personal relationship of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Charles Sumner.  Tracing their relationship using their own words - through their letters, journal entries, speeches, and poetry - this program also follows the ongoing conflicts in the United States over slavery and the personal struggles these two men had in finding their roles.