Archive for July, 2019

Video: “If I Survive: Frederick Douglass and Family in the Walter O. Evans Collection” @ National Gallery of Art



I have offered to take Dr. Evans and Prof. Bernier on a walking tour of Old Anacostia on previous occasion. They have not attended nor expressed an interest in attending. We hope they take an interest in the scholarship of Frederick Douglass as it pertains to the community he knew intimately for the last quarter-century of his life. We think it is the least to expect of Douglassonian scholars.

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Folger Shakespeare Library Blog: “Frederick Douglass, A Shakespearean in Washington” (John Muller, July 19, 2019)

After walking Cedar Hill in the early morning Douglass would settle at his desk, responding to and beginning new correspondence. Photo National Park Service, Frederick Douglass NHS.In his life and times Frederick Douglass was known around the world as an orator, abolitionist, suffragist, and reformist. While living in Washington, DC, where he spent the last quarter-century of his life, he was also known to many as an admirer of William Shakespeare.


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Speculative historian unable to debate Old Anacostia Douglassonian John Muller on fundamental flaws in his scholarship and interpretations appointed by Yale University Sterling Professor

William Alston-El - Frederick Douglass wheat paste on lower MLKDavid William Blight, newly named as the Sterling Professor of History, of African American Studies, and of American Studies, is a renowned historian who is considered one of the nation’s foremost authorities on the Civil War and its legacy.

The Sterling Professorship is the highest honor bestowed on Yale faculty.

Blight is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including “American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era” and “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory,” and annotated editions of Frederick Douglass’ first two autobiographies. He has conducted research on the life and work of Douglass for much of his professional career. His most recent book, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” has garnered eight awards, including a Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize.

A graduate of Michigan State University, Blight earned a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught at Harvard University and North Central College (Naperville, Illinois), and for seven years was a public high school teacher in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. Prior to joining the Yale faculty in 2003, Blight taught at Amherst College for 13 years. At Yale, he serves as director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. In this role he organizes conferences, working groups, lectures, the administration of the annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize, and many public outreach programs regarding the history of slavery and its abolition.

Blight works in many capacities in the world of public history, including on boards of museums and historical societies, and as a member of a team of advisors to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum curators. His board memberships include the New-York Historical Society, the Benjamin Franklin Papers at Yale, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, the National Civil War Center at Tredegar in Richmond, Virginia, the executive board of the Organization of American Historians, and the board for African American Programs at Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Yale professor lectures widely in the United States and around the world on the Civil War and Reconstruction, race relations, Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, and problems in public history and American historical memory. He teaches summer institutes for secondary teachers and for park rangers and historians in the National Park Service, devoting a good deal of time to these and many other public history initiatives.

Blight is a frequent book reviewer for The New York Times, Washington Post Book World, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, and other newspapers. He is one of the authors of the bestselling American history textbook for the college level, “A People and a Nation.” He is also series advisor and editor for the popular Bedford Books series in “American History and Culture,” featuring teaching books for the college level.

Blight was elected as a member of the Society of American Historians in 2002, and served as that society’s president in 2013-14. In 2012, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


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Independence Day July 4th Walking Tours of Frederick Douglass’ Old Anacostia (9:00 AM / 2:00 PM)

John Muller _ walking tour (3)Developed in the mid-19th century as one of the District’s first suburbs, Anacostia and its residents played a key role in shaping the city we know today. A walking tour led by historian and author John Muller traces its history and significance with a focus on the man that came to be known as the “Lion of Anacostia,” Fredrick Douglass, who lived in the neighborhood from 1877 until his death in 1895.

Blending historic research and contemporary neighborhood affairs and news, our guide will lead the group on a walk through time, exploring one of Washington City’s most misunderstood and sacred communities. Stories of presidents, local personalities, famed resident Frederick Douglass, 19th-century architecture and neighborhood folklore will be woven throughout.

** TICKETS ** 

Questions and photography are encouraged throughout the walking tour!

John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia (2012) and Mark Twain in Washington, D.C.: The Adventures of a Capital Correspondent (2013) has been a local reporter in Old Anacostia and adjacent communities for the past decade for a variety of print and online publications

Muller has presented widely throughout the DC-Baltimore metropolitan area at venues including the Library of Congress, Newseum, Politics and Prose, American Library in Paris and local universities. He is currently working on a book about the lost history of Frederick Douglass on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He has presented “The Lost History of Frederick Douglass in Western Maryland” at various venues such as the Washington County Central Library in Hagerstown, Ebenezer AME Church (Hagerstown) and Frostburg State University as well as presenting the “Lost History: Frederick (Bailey) Douglass in Baltimore” at the Enoch Pratt Central Library in Baltimore City. Muller has been featured on C-SPAN’s BookTV and C-SPAN’s American History TV, as well as in the pages of the Star Democrat and the airwaves of WDVM (Hagerstown) NBC4 (Washington), WPFW, WAMU, WYPR and Delmarva Pubic Radio.

This is a private walking tour of the Anacostia neighborhood conducted by an authorized local historian.

Meet at the visitor’s center of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

** TICKETS ** 

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