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Frederick Douglass' 200th Birthday Events

The Chapel Hill Carrboro branch of the NAACP, along with Orange County, and the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro are celebrating the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass with a series of events! Many events will be free and open to the public.

The kickoff celebration will take place on Thursday, January 18th at 7pm at the United Church of Chapel Hill. This celebration will be an evening of art and song, led by visionary artist Tarish Pipkins, aka Jeghetto, and acclaimed gospel singer and scholar, Mary D. Williams.

Frederick Douglass at 200 Kickoff Celebration

Featuring Tarish “Jeghetto” Pipkins and Mary D. Williams

Thursday, January 18th, 7 p.m.

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 editor and celebrates both the power of education and a life of courage.

Frederick Douglass: Then and Now

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 Branch

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 Branch

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!

The full calendar of events can be found on the Orange County NC website at and on the Chapel Hill Carrboro NAACP branch Google calendar.

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