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Frederick Douglass’ 200th birthday celebrated at Marshall University

The Herald-Dispatch

Actor Phil Darius Wallace re-enacts an 1852 speech on “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” by Frederick Douglass during a 200th birthday celebration for the black abolitionist and journalist Wednesday at the Marshall University Memorial Student Center in Huntington.
(Herald-Dispatch photo by Sholten Singer)

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — As part of its Black History Month programming, Marshall University’s Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum put on a 200th birthday celebration for renowned activist Frederick Douglass on Wednesday afternoon and had an actor re-enact one of his most famous speeches.

Professor Robert Levine of the University of Maryland gave a presentation on Douglass, and actor Phil Darius Wallace portrayed Douglass in a performance of “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July,” a speech Douglass gave in 1852 to a crowd of abolitionists in Rochester, New York.

To commemorate Douglass’ birthday, local singer Dana Hart sang “Happy Birthday” while cake was served. Levine, Wallace and Burnis Morris — Marshall’s Carter G. Woodson Professor of Journalism and director of the lyceum – also answered audience questions about Douglass’ life.

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