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Douglass Day: Home

What is Douglass Day?

It is a collective day of love & action for Black history!

Douglass Day is an annual program that marks the birth of Frederick Douglass. Each year, we gather thousands of people to help create new & freely available resources for learning about Black history. We frequently focus on important Black women’s archives, such as Anna Julia Cooper (2020), Mary Church Terrell (2021), and plenty more to come in future years.This year, we will focus on the papers of Mary Ann Shadd Cary. Learn more about the history of Douglass Day.

Douglass Day 2023

What's in store this year?

We are hosting a Douglass Day celebration on Tuesday, February 14, from noon to 3 p.m. The event will take place both in person in the Ely Library instruction room on the mezzanine floor and on Zoom. You are encouraged to pop in at any time during the three hours. This year the celebration will feature a transcribe-a-thon of the papers of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, one of the earliest Black women to edit a newspaper, serve as a Civil War recruiter, attend law school, and so much more.

Zoom Room:

During the event, we will share a livestream of speakers and performers from noon to 12:30, 1 to 1:30, and 2:45 to 3:00. We will also be available -- both on Zoom and in the Library -- to answer any questions you might have about transcribing documents on the Zooniverse platform. We encourage participants to share their discoveries on social media using #DouglassDay.

If you would like to learn more about Douglass Day, Ely Library will host a 'preview event' on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, streaming material in the Emilee Dawn Gagnon meeting space from noon to 1pm. If you can't join us in person that day, you may view the event on the Douglass Day youtube page.

You can bring also Douglass Day into your college classroom with these resources. The library even has Mary Ann Shadd Cary: the Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century available on Course Reserve for use in the library! More library resources can be found in our Mary Ann Shadd Cary virtual display.

Also, anyone who likes to bake should feel welcome to participate in the Great Douglass Day Bakeoff.  Bake a birthday cake in honor of Frederick Douglass and post it on social media using #GreatDouglassDayBakeoff; judging will take place at 2:45 p.m.

And don't forget to include us in your social media posts as well!
Twitter: @ElyLibraryWSU
Instagram: @wsu_elylibrary

The event is co-sponsored by the Ely Library, the History & Philosophy Department, and the English Department.

577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA 01086

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