Tribute to Frederick Douglass on the Solidarity Wall in Belfast , who escaped slavery in 1838 and visited Ireland for a 4 month lecture tour in order to present his autobiography “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave”.
“Perhaps no class has carried this prejudice against colour to a point more extreme and dangerous than have the Irish and yet no people have been more relentlessly persecuted and oppressed on account of race and religion” – Frederick Douglass.
In 1845, as Ireland was descending into the despair of the Great Hunger, Frederick Douglass arrived for a four-month lecture tour of the island. Douglass had escaped slavery in Maryland seven years earlier, and had recently published his autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Douglass was greeted in Dublin, Belfast, and Cork by enthusiastic crowds and formed many friendships on his trip, most significantly with Daniel O’Connell, a figure still revered in Ireland today for his role in Catholic emancipation and his fierce opposition to slavery. O’Connell and Douglass shared the stage just once, in September 1845 at a rally in Dublin, but retained a mutual respect and affection until O’Connell’s death less than two years later – and Douglass acknowledged O’Connell’s influence on his philosophy and worldview for the rest of his life.
Belfast media published an article on a speech given by abolitionist…
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