Posts Tagged Yale University

Video: Pulitzer Prize Winner David W. Blight Talks About Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

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Academy of Arts & Science -> “A Conversation about Frederick Douglass” (April 1, 2019)

Cover of David Blight's 2018 biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

The New Haven Program Committee and Yale’s MacMillan Center invite you and your guests to a conversation about David W. Blight’s rich and comprehensive biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, featuring David W. Blight and Robert SteptoCrystal Feimster will moderate the conversation.

A limited number of spaces are available for a small dinner at Heirloom Restaurant following the reception. Interested members can log in to register for both the program and the dinner online. Please contact Hannah Gersten with questions.


 

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VIDEO: David W. Blight & Ta-Nehisi Coates discuss “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom”


Editor’s Note:

Thank you to the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University for hosting the wonderful discussion.

I will respond in a forthcoming series of videos detailing some of the intellectual and scholastic shortcomings in this presentation.

W Street Douglassonians will prepare a petition for debate with the moderator being chosen by Coates and Blight, with our suggested recommendations.

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Book Talk: David W. Blight & Ta-Nehisi Coates discuss Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (Yale University, December 6, 2018 – 4:30pm to 6:30pm)

The Gilder Lehrman Center (GLC) for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale will host a book conversation between David W. Blight, GLC Director and Class of 1954 Professor of American History, and author Ta-Nehisi Coates. The program celebrates the release of Blight’s new biography, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” (Simon and Schuster, 2018).

The talk is scheduled for Thursday, December 6, at the Yale University Art Gallery, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Lecture Hall, 1111 Chapel Street, New Haven, Connecticut.

Book sales begin at 4:30pm and the talk begins at 5:00pm. Blight and Coates will discuss the book within the context of Frederick Douglass’s development as a thinker, activist, and political figure. Courtesy of Atticus Bookstore and Café, books by both authors will be available for sale. Professor Blight will be available to sign books after the talk.

David W. BlightBlight’s book is the definitive biography of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, who escaped from slavery to become the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era. Annette Gordon-Reed, the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and Professor of History at Harvard University, describes the book as a “vibrant and convincing portrait of a towering figure who was also, as Blight says, ‘thoroughly and beautifully human.’”

The writing of the book was prompted by Blight’s lifetime interest in Douglass along with access to the private archives of Walter O. Evans. The materials in the Evans collection, Blight writes, allowed him to explore the “fascinating and complicated life” of the older Douglass, from the period of Reconstruction through his death in 1895. As the first in-depth biography of Douglass published since 1991, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” is “the fullest account ever written of the last third of Douglass’s complex and epic life,” Blight says.

Ta-Nehisi CoatesTa-Nehisi Coates is a distinguished writer in residence at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He is the author of the bestselling books “The Beautiful Struggle,” “We Were Eight Years in Power,” and “Between the World and Me,” which won the National Book Award in 2015. Coates is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. He is also the author of the Marvel Comics “The Black Panther” and “Captain America.”

This program also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Gilder Lehrman Center. The mission of the Gilder Lehrman Center is to explore the history and legacies of slavery across all borders and all times. The Center promotes scholarship and public education focused on the history and afterlives of chattel slavery in the Americas, global slavery, resistance to enslavement, abolitionist social movements, and modern slavery and human trafficking.

 


 

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, the History Department at Yale, and the Yale University Art Gallery celebrate the release of David W. Blight’s new biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (Simon & Schuster 2018). Join us for a stimulating conversation in the Yale University Art Gallery’s lecture hall. Within the context of Frederick Douglass’s development as a thinker, activist, and political figure, Professor Blight (Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center) will discuss the book with author Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Courtesy of Atticus Bookstore and Café, both authors’ books will be available for sale at the end of the program. Professor Blight will be available to sign copies of his book.

For their generous support of this program, the Gilder Lehrman Center thanks the Belonging at Yale initiative of the Office of the Secretary and Vice President for Student Life, the Yale University Art Gallery, and Atticus Bookstore and Café.

This program is free and open to the public.

A live stream feed of this event will be available at: https://www.facebook.com/GilderLehrmanCenter/

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Yale announces 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Prize finalists

Yale announces 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Prize finalists

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition today has announced the finalists for the 20th annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize, one of the most coveted awards for the study of the African American experience. Jointly sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the MacMillan Center at Yale University, this annual prize of $25,000 recognizes the best book on slavery, resistance, and/or abolition published in the preceding year.

The finalists are: Daina Ramey Berry for “The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation” (Beacon Press); Erica Armstrong Dunbar for “Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge” (Simon & Schuster); Sharla M. Fett for “Recaptured Africans: Surviving Slave Ships, Detention, and Dislocation in the Final Years of the Slave Trade” (University of North Carolina Press); and Tiya Miles for “The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits” (The New Press).

The winner will be announced following the Douglass Prize Review Committee meeting in the fall, and the award will be presented at a celebration in New York City on February 28, 2019.

A jury of scholars that included Catherine Clinton (Chair), of University of Texas at San Antonio; Ada Ferrer, of New York University; and Sandra Elaine Greene, of Cornell University selected this year’s finalists from a field of more than 70 nominations.

The jury’s descriptions of the finalists’ books follow.


 

"The Price for Their Pound of Flesh"Daina Ramey Berry’s “The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation” is a powerful work which engages scholarship on capitalism and slavery in a way that attempts to center the experience and thinking of the enslaved. Berry meticulously scoured thousands of records to uncover how the price of enslaved people varied by age and gender, offering a nuanced analysis of how capitalism shaped slavery. In an unexpected turn, she investigated the value of the bodies of dead enslaved people, uncovering disturbing detail about the “cadaver trade” and providing one of the few scholarly accounts of this practice. Studies of slavery and capitalism have dominated the field of U.S. history, but until the publication of Berry’s exhaustive study, no scholar has systematically examined how gender shaped this interaction. Her documentation concerning monetization of the flesh (from birth on through auctions and sales, to the trade in cadavers) shines the spotlight on “price” and its multiple meanings. This work contributes to our appreciation of the disguised aspects of slavery’s thrall.


"Never Caught"In “Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge,” Erica Armstrong Dunbar tells the unknown story of how George and Martha Washington’s slave, Ona Judge, escaped from slavery. Drawing on a handful of surviving records, Dunbar skillfully manages to capture the full story of Ona Judge’s life. The book succeeds in keeping readers rapt because of the author’s gifted prose and profound ambition. Armstrong’s fluid style is but one of the book’s many virtues. “Never Caught” is not only a fascinating story of one enslaved woman’s daring flight, but also a vivid recreation of black urban life in the early republic. At the same time, this exploration of the mythic George Washington (adding his wife Martha into the mix) teases out stories behind the pillars, behind the masks—to create an imbricated tale which exposes slavery’s ragged and cutting edges. Dunbar has written a history that changes how we think about slavery and abolition, about the enslaved and the manumitted, and about the early republic and George Washington.


"Recaptured Africans"Sharla M. Fett’s “Recaptured Africans: Surviving Slave Ships, Detention, and Dislocation in the Final Years of the Slave Trade” is an outstanding study that focuses on those Africans who were retrieved from slave ships after the criminalization of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and who were then settled temporarily in the United States. Known as recaptives, this group of roughly 1,800 African children, men, and women, were then eventually resettled in West Africa (specifically Liberia) with support from the American Colonization Society. Fett does an excellent job positioning the book in relation to the larger literature on this subject. Her contextualization of the study only encourages the reader to explore the topic in greater depth. The book expands wonderfully on how the recaptives were depicted in public representations and in ethnographic mid-19th-century literature, how these depictions sought to distinguish them from the much longer resident African Americans, and how African American activists defied these efforts by supporting the recaptives and working to redefine them as members of the human family. Fett emphasizes, in particular, the liminal space occupied by the recaptives: how they were treated legally, given both domestic and international political prejudices, but also what the recaptives’ experiences of enslavement were like, and what it meant to them. It is an extremely compelling story, accessible to any interested reader.


"The Dawn of Detroit"Tiya Miles’s “The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits” is a beautifully written and rigorously researched book. The book reveals the enduring centrality of slavery in early Detroit, through French, British, and U.S. rule.  Miles constructs a splendidly layered history in which enslaved Native Americans and African American labor in the fur trade—and on lands originally stolen from the former. The book is an important addition to recent work that stresses the foundational place of slavery in the northern United States, even when laws such as the Northwest Ordinance ostensibly prohibited the extension of slavery to the new territory. While highlighting the reach and power of slavery in Detroit, Miles also beautifully documents the ways in which the enslaved used war, alliances, the law, flight, and other means to challenge their own enslavement. Throughout this riveting text, personal and family stories illustrate and advance a narrative that rewrites our understanding of slavery in the making of the United States.


The Frederick Douglass Book Prize was established by the Gilder Lehrman Institute and Gilder Lehrman Center in 1999 to stimulate scholarship in the field by honoring outstanding accomplishments. Previous winners are Ira Berlin and Philip D. Morgan in 1999; David Eltis, 2000; David Blight, 2001; Robert Harms and John Stauffer, 2002; Seymour Drescher and James F. Brooks, 2003; Jean Fagan Yellin, 2004; Laurent Dubois, 2005; Rebecca J. Scott, 2006; Christopher Leslie Brown, 2007; Stephanie Smallwood, 2008; Annette Gordon-Reed, 2009; Siddharth Kara, Judith Carney, and Richard N. Rosomoff, 2010; Stephanie McCurry, 2011; James H. Sweet, 2012; Sydney Nathans, 2013; Christopher Hager, 2014; Ada Ferrer, 2015; Jeff Forret, 2016; and Manisha Sinha, 2017.

The award is named for Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), the one-time slave who escaped bondage to emerge as one of the great American abolitionists, reformers, writers, and orators of the 19th century.

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, which is supported by the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University, was launched in November 1998 through a generous donation by philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Its mission is to advance the study of all aspects of slavery and its destruction across all borders and time. The Center seeks to foster an improved understanding of the role of slavery, slave resistance, abolition, and their legacies in the founding of the modern world by promoting interaction and exchange between scholars, teachers, and public historians through publications, educational outreach, and other programs and events.

For further information on events and programming, visit https://glc.yale.edu/(link is external) or contact the Center by phone at (203) 432-3339 or e-mail gilder.lehrman.center@yale.edu(link sends e-mail).


Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, visionaries and lifelong supporters of American history education, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the leading American history nonprofit organization dedicated to K-12 education while also serving the general public. With a focus on primary sources, the Gilder Lehrman Institute illuminates the stories, people, and moments that inspire students of all ages and backgrounds to learn and understand more about history. Through a diverse portfolio of education programs, including the acclaimed Hamilton Education Program, the Gilder Lehrman Institute provides opportunities for nearly two million students, 30,000 teachers, and 18,000 schools worldwide. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians.

For further information, visit https://www.gilderlehrman.org/(link is external) or call (646) 366-9666.

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Yale University’s Panel Discussion – Frederick Douglass at 200: The Life Behind the Times [February 16, 2018]

Event press release

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