Holy MoLI! Why is Frederick Douglass in the window of Nano Nagle Place?

Nano Nagle Place is delighted to be taking part in Douglass Week, an online commemoration celebrating the 175th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ visit to Ireland, and the role this visit played in his own life and journey. As part of this commemoration, we are delighted to be collaborating with the Museum of Literature Ireland and hosting their magnificent ‘Douglass in Ireland’ exhibition in our front windows! If you missed it you can find MoLI’s digital edition of the exhibition HERE!

Frederick Douglass remains one of the most influential figures of the American abolitionist movement. Douglass had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and realised education represented his best chance of achieving freedom. He secretly taught himself to read and write and escaped slavery at the age of 20, absconding to Massachusetts. Between 1845-1846 he traveled to Ireland where he met Daniel O’Connell and lectured to packed audiences.

Although born a century prior to Douglass, Nano Nagle an 18th century Irish woman, held a similar belief that education was the key to breaking out of the cycle of poverty and championed social equality for the poor Catholics of Ireland who were suppressed by the Penal Laws.

Nano Nagle Place are proud to connect Nano Nagle and Frederick Douglass, two pioneers for education and social justice and bring their legacies to a 21st Century audience, thanks to the MoLI’s eye catching exhibition. Although our doors may be closed, you can visit the windows in our front plaza to see this wonderful exhibition and learn all about Frederick Douglass and his groundbreaking work.

“The Museum of Literature Ireland is delighted to partner with Nano Nagle Place on the presentation of our exhibition ‘Frederick Douglass in Ireland’. The exhibition was produced in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the African American Irish Diaspora Network, and introduces visitors to the story of Douglass and his famous visit to Ireland in 1845. 

One of the major figures of the American Abolitionist Movement, Douglass’ important account of his own life, the ‘Narrative’, sits centrally in the canon of slave literature and also underwent a second edition while he was in Ireland. Douglass retained fond memories of his trip here, during which time he met with one of his hero’s, Daniel O’Connell, and spoke regularly to thousands of Irish supporters. 

His work remains essential and important both in the United States and in the changing Ireland of today – this exhibition is the first in a planned series of exhibits at MoLI that will explore major political and philosophical works with connections to the island.”

– Simon O’Connor, Director of the MoLI

Cork Migrant Centre and CMC Youth Initiative have an incredible line-up of online events  Make sure to visit www.douglassincork.com to check out all the wonderful events happening from the 8th to the 14th of February to commemorate Douglass Week.

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