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Door County Talks: The Radical Vision of the American Abolitionists with Dr. Nolan Bennett
Saturday, February 29 @ 10:00 am
Presented in Partnership with Door County Civility Project
Tickets: Freewill Donations Encouraged
Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020 | Time: 10 a.m.
Speaking at a Fourth of July celebration in 1860, the formerly enslaved Frederick Douglass famously asked his audience: “Why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence?” With this fierce denunciation of American hypocrisy—that the country would celebrate liberty and equality while so many remained enslaved in the South—Douglass offered a radical vision of American history and democracy. In this talk we will look at how those opposed to slavery (like Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, David Walker, and Abraham Lincoln) offered a new, expansive reading of American ideals as they challenged the “peculiar institution.” We’ll consider how they looked back to the founding era and its documents and forward to a new dawn of justice. In light of that progressive outlook, we’ll also discuss the lasting legacy of the abolitionists and how slavery continues to influence American politics and ideas.