In 1845, as Ireland was descending into the despair of the great famine, Frederick Douglass arrived for a four-month lecture tour of the island to promote his recently published autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave.
Seven years earlier, Douglass had escaped slavery in Maryland but was greeted in Dublin, Belfast, and Cork by enthusiastic crowds and formed many friendships on his trip. One of the most significant friendships was with Daniel O'Connell, a figure still revered in Ireland today for his role in Catholic emancipation and his fierce opposition to slavery.
This conversation features writer and educator Colum McCann, author of TransAtlantic and cofounder of Narrative4, a global nonprofit dedicated to social change. He is joined by UMD professors Ira Berlin, Patrick O’Shea and Sheri Parks as we explore the influence Douglass had on religious freedom, gender issues and slavery.