Join Us for Douglass Day, February 13!

The Center for Digital Humanities is pleased to announce our plans for Douglass Day , a yearly event celebrating Black history in honor of Frederick Douglass's birthday. Although Douglass, who was born into slavery, did not know his real birthday, he chose to recognize it on February 14.

National Events

Given the pandemic, Douglass Day will be different this year—both nationally and in Princeton ( read about last year's event ). Participants will no longer gather in large groups to transcribe important documents in Black history, but are invited to take part in virtual transcribe-a-thons of the papers of Mary Church Terrell using the Library of Congress's By the People crowdsourcing platform. Terrell was an educator and civil rights activist, as well as a co-creator of Douglass Day. Live programming on YouTube will complement transcribing activities on the afternoons of February 12 and February 14 . We encourage you to participate—you will learn something new and contribute to making primary source material more accessible ( see the schedule and register ).

Princeton Events

On February 13 , we will celebrate Douglass Day with two Princeton-focused events that engage with the relationship between education and activism—an emphasis that is particularly fitting given that Terrell spent part of her career as a teacher.

  • At 1 pm , undergraduates from Professor Eduardo Cadava's fall 2020 course on the writings of Frederick Douglass and Ralph Waldo Emerson will present on their collaborative, virtual exhibition entitled “Abolition: Then and Now.” The course encouraged the students to think about the ways in which the writings of these two towering American figures can be used as resources not only for addressing contemporary socio-political issues but also for doing political work, and especially work that goes in the direction of addressing, engaging, and perhaps even overcoming the history of racial injustice in America. Please be aware that one of the presentations includes a potentially disturbing image. The presenter will provide a warning in advance of showing the image. Register here .
  • At 3 pm , Princeton undergraduates and students and teachers from Princeton Public Schools will discuss their experiences successfully advocating for renamings of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and of Princeton Unified Middle School, respectively. Why did these issues matter to them? What can others gain from their experiences? This event is presented in partnership with Princeton Public Library and Princeton Public Schools . Register on the Princeton Public Library website . If you have questions or concerns, please email .

Full information on the Princeton events is available on our events page .

Carousel Photo: Douglass Day website

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