Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Happy Birthday, Frederick Douglass

Last year, at the beginning of Black History Month, Donald Trump made this rather remarkable statement: "Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who's done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice." The comment caused many to wonder if Trump actually knew who Frederick Douglass was.

Vagueness about the identity of Frederick Douglass, who was born a slave sometime in 1818, learned to read when he was 12, and went on to become one of the most famous intellectuals of his time, may not be a problem here in Hudson. But to ensure the next generation also recognizes the achievement of this extraordinary man, the Hudson Area Library plans to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth. The celebration will take the form of a cultural and literary presentation for children between the ages of 7 and 12 and their families on Wednesday, February 14, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. (Although the exact date of his birth is unknown, February 14 is the day Douglass chose to celebrate his birthday later in life.) 

The event, called Frederick Douglass Was Born!, features Elena Mosley, executive director of Operation Unite NY, who will present readings and fun activities relating to the life of Frederick Douglass. This familiar quote from Douglass serves as the underlying theme of the celebration: "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." There will be a specially decorated cake to honor Douglass on the 200th anniversary of his birth.

The event is free and open to the public. The library is located at 51 North Fifth Street. For more information, visit   


  1. Thank you Library. My wife and I had a chance to visit Douglass' home in Washington, where he lived the last 17 years of his life. Awe-inspiring. Now a National Historic Site, and worth a visit:

  2. Also, a nice essay about Douglass by George Will in today's Register Star. I couldn't find it on the RS site, but you can read it here:

  3. Thanks for the references, Peter. I will do both (visit the Douglass site and read the article). And thanks for the blog post. It really helps to place the importance of Douglass. So glad we're doing this event at the library!