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Our Composite Nation: Frederick Douglass’ America New York Historical Society

11 Feb 2022 — 29 Jul 2022

In the late 1860s—at a moment of great hope for the promise of equality under the law—the famed orator and once-enslaved abolitionist Frederick Douglass took his Our Composite Nation speech on the road to argue for a plural American democracy. The mission of this new nation, he declared, was to provide the world “a composite, perfect illustration of the unity of the human family.”...

In the late 1860s—at a moment of great hope for the promise of equality under the law—the famed orator and once-enslaved abolitionist Frederick Douglass took his Our Composite Nation speech on the road to argue for a plural American democracy. The mission of this new nation, he declared, was to provide the world “a composite, perfect illustration of the unity of the human family.” For what was the U.S., he said, but “the most conspicuous example of composite nationality in the world?”

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by New York Historical Scholar Trustee David Blight, this special installation features artifacts, images, and a theatrical design that bring Douglass’ compelling speech to life and explores his vision of freedom, citizenship, and equal rights that remains urgently relevant today, as a hopeful plea for America to live up to its founding ideals.

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Our Composite Nation: Frederick Douglass’ America (Until 29 July 2022)

Side walk 6' apart in New York City (Until 6 July 2022)

Activism On and Off the Field (Until 3 September 2022)

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New York Historical Society

4.8 / 5 (14 reviews)

The New York Historical Society was New York's first museum, founded in 1804. This museum and library is crammed with American history and art, plus changing exhibitions with a focus on American arts and achievements. You'll find it on the corner of 77th Street and Central Park West in Manhattan.

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Sunday 11:00 - 17:00
Monday Closed
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 11:00 - 17:00
Thursday 11:00 - 17:00
Friday 11:00 - 20:00
Saturday 11:00 - 17:00

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New York Historical Society
170,Central Park West, 10024, New York
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