Linden Place museum in Bristol, RI invites the community to join a live reading of Frederick Douglass’ iconic 1852 speech “What to The Slave Is The Fourth of July.” Renowned actor Joe Wilson Jr. of Trinity Rep will lead the reading and audience members will be invited to join in at the podium.
Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave turned statesman, was about 34 years old when he delivered this speech to more than 500 members of the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society in 1852, nine years before the start of the Civil War. The speech questioned the notion of freedom by pointing out the disparity between white Americans and the enslaved Africans and African Americans who were forced to serve them. The message, about America struggling to live up to the lofty goals it set for itself at the founding, continues to be relevant today.
Actor Joe Wilson, Jr. is sure to thrill and move the audience with his impassioned performance. Prior to landing in Rhode Island, Wilson worked in New York City for five years on and off Broadway and around the region. He joined the company of Trinity Rep in 2005 and was later nominated for an Elliot Norton Award for Best Actor and was twice named Best Actor by the Independent reviewers of New England. He teaches acting at universities and theater companies around the United States.
The outdoor reading will begin at 4:30 pm. After the reading the community is invited to continue the conversation over light refreshments. While the event is a free event for all to attend, a suggested donation of $5 will help us continue to service our mission and allow us to host more events that connect the public with our collective history.
The event, in part, is sponsored by BankNewport.
For more information and to register, please call Linden Place at 253-0390 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org