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News from the Heights

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Le Moyne College Hosts Talk on Wife of Abolitionist Frederick Douglass

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (For Immediate Release) … Le Moyne College will host a talk by Leigh Fought about the life of Anna Murray, best known as the first wife of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, on Thursday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. in Grewen Auditorium.

Anna Murray Douglass suffered insults, condescension and humiliation inflicted on her not only by her husband’s white associates, but also on occasion by Douglass himself. Many historians have behaved little better, beginning any description of Anna with the information that she could neither read nor write, the implication being that she was not quite a fit companion for the greatest black man of the nineteenth century. In her talk, Fought will outline Anna Murray Douglass’ life and marriage and the fundamental differences between Frederick and Anna that not only caused friction within the family, but also illuminate the gender and class divides that separated Douglass from Anna and from the majority of the African-American community for whom he spoke.

Leigh Fought is associate professor of history at Montgomery College, Md., and the author of “Southern Womanhood and Slavery: A Biography of Louisa McCord.

The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Le Moyne’s African-American History Month Committee, the Center for Peace and Global Studies and the Department of History. For more information, call (315) 445-4765.

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posted on: 1/31/2011