Alternate Title Frederick Douglass: Lecture: The Assassination and Its Lessons
Production Language English
Country of Origin United States
Description In 1866, a faction of BAM’s board tried to prevent Douglass from taking the stage at 176 Montague Street knowing he was likely to launch a pointed attack on sitting President Andrew Johnson. They did so on the utterly spurious grounds that “no black person could take the stage at BAM,” despite Douglass having spoken here three years prior. Fortunately, a close friend of Douglass, Theodore Tilton, helped convince the board to overrule this denial—and Douglass was permitted to speak on “The Assassination [of Abraham Lincoln] and Its Lessons” after all.
Douglass began his oration by commenting directly on the scandal. “The day is coming,” he declared, “when Brooklyn will be quite ashamed that any subjection could have been made to a man appearing before it for the purpose of vindicating the cause of justice, of humanity and of liberty.” And throughout his two-hour address, he frequently circled back to the controversy to illustrate his point that the North must be resolute in pushing for black equality.