Carrboro Townwide News

Posted on: December 21, 2017

Frederick Douglass' 200th Birthday Events

Frederick Douglass

Several organizations and community groups are planning events in 2018 to commemorate the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass through music, readings from his autobiography and several visionary art performances.

Scheduled Events

All the events listed below are open to the public and free of charge. More events are being planned, including an appearance from Frederick Douglass' great-great-great grandson, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., and will be added to this website as they are finalized.

Frederick Douglass at 200 Kickoff Celebration

Featuring Tarish “Jeghetto” Pipkins and Mary D. Williams

Thursday, January 25, 7 p.m.  - NEW DATE
United Church of Chapel Hill

Kick off a community-wide celebration of the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass with an evening of art and song. Visionary artist Tarish Pipkins, aka Jeghetto, will unveil his newest creation, a Frederick Douglass puppet and multi-media performance. Mary D. Williams, acclaimed gospel singer and scholar, will celebrate Douglass by singing the story of the African-American experience - from slavery to abolition and beyond.

Town of Carrboro celebrates Douglass at 200

Monday, February 5th, 7 p.m.

Carrboro Century Center

Who was Frederick Douglass and why is he so important to us today? Join us as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass with presentations from James E. Williams Jr.,retired Orange/Chatham Chief Public Defender, Michelle Lanier, Executive Director of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission, and Jaki Shelton Green, award-winning poet. Light refreshments provided.

Brightstar Theater presents Frederick Douglass

Sunday, February 11

2 p.m. Chapel Hill Public Library

4 p.m. Hargraves Community Center

Celebrate a hero of American History with this production from a highly acclaimed touring theater company. This show – best for 4th graders through adults – highlights Douglass’ awe-inspiring life, from his escape from a Maryland plantation to his days as a newspaper and celebrates both the power of education and a life of courage.

Frederick Douglass Panel Discussion

Thursday, February 22, 7 p.m.

Chapel Hill Public Library, Meeting Room B

What would Frederick Douglass think of 2018? What did his contemporaries think of him? What was Douglass’s impact, then and now? A panel of scholars, including Reginald Hildebrand and Patrick Horn will consider and comment on these questions and more. Join us for this town/gown special event, co-sponsored by Carolina Public Humanities.

Reading Douglass in Public

Wednesday, February 28, 6-8 p.m.

Orange County Public Library Main Library

Join local authors, poets, historians and social justice advocates as they read from Douglass’ The Narrative.

Discuss “The Narrative”

Monday, March 5, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Orange County Public Library Main Library

The First Monday Classics Book Club led by local authors from Hillsborough will discuss The Narrative. No need to register or be a member of the book club. Just come on by!


For more information contact Orange County Community Relations Director Todd McGee at (919) 245-2302 or

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