Reading Frederick Douglass and the Emancipation Proclamation

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Before the Fourth of July was about firecrackers and hot dogs (not that there's anything wrong with that), it was about reflecting on the state of our democracy.

This summer, we're thinking about that in light of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Want to join us?






There may be few better ways to do so than by reading Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and Frederick Douglass's pivotal speech “The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro,” together, out loud.

This year, we’ll be doing that in

  • New Bedford
  • North Adams
  • Boston
  • Lynn
  • Worcester
  • Pittsfield

This July, thinking about the evolution of “freedom” in America becomes part community bonding event, part individual meditation, and a moving and remarkable way to celebrate the holiday. One can either choose to read (simply stand in line on the day) or listen, but whether reader or listener, prepare to be inspired and feel connected: to the past, to the ideas that shape our world, and to those around you.