A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Agitate, Agitate, Agitate!"

Painting of  Frederick Douglas which hangs at Cedar Hill (Source: NPS)

Today, we talked about Frederick Douglass. The kids will tell you I loves me my Frederick Douglass! He is, for me, an epitome of an what I think of as quintessentially American. I love Madison for his ability to craft a government and Lincoln for his ability to steer that government  to reunion, but I love Douglass for his fearless reminder of the great good and great harm government can do for and to its people.

I had the chance to spend a couple days at Cedar Hill, his Victorian home just north of DC this summer and took a video of an actor re-enacting a portion of one of Douglass' speech. The actor, Kevin McIlvaine, has a YouTube site with better quality versions of his work here. I asked for his permission to post this last summer and he graciously said yes. The video above was supposed to be a portion of the Douglass' What to a Slave is the Fourth of July, unfortunately technology is not playing nicely in my sandbox so, for now, here is a video of Mr. McIlvaine's recitation of Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

Below are two sites, one for Cedar Hill and one a transcript of the excerpted speech you'll eventually hear on the video. Imagine hearing this speech in 1852 by a former slave on the day after our nation's 76th anniversary.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

What to a Slave is the Fourth of July

BTW-If you don't know the reference to the title, google it! For me, that story is the essence of Frederick Douglas.

Cane given to Frederick Douglass by Mary Todd Lincoln. It was one of the president's. (Source: NPS)

1 comment:

  1. Love this!!! I'm so happy to see you teaching on Douglass. He needs more airtime.