Anna, the Other Douglass: A Long Table Conversation and Installation
An afternoon of poetry and film screenings inspired by Anna Murray Douglass, wife of Frederick Douglass, setting off a Long Table Conversation exploring the intersections of race and gender.
As we celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of Frederick Douglass birth and explore his comprehensive legacy - including in the context of what it means in 2018, it is imperative that we do the same with his partner of 44 years his first wife Anna Murray Douglass, says Rachel DeGuzman, founder and producer of At the Crossroads: Activating the Intersection of Art and Justice and curator of Anna, the Other Douglass: A Long Table Conversation and Installation.
King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tweeted, #Without Coretta Scott King, there would be no #MLK Day in January 2018. And as Hayley Miller wrote in the Huffington Post re Kings tweet Martin Luther King Jr. may be the United States most well-known civil rights activist of all time, but theres no denying that his wife was a hero in her own right.
Neither Coretta Scott King nor Anna Murray Douglass made the cut of the 40 women profiled in Marlene Wagman-Gellers 2015 book Behind Every Great Man: The Forgotten Women Behind the Worlds Famous and Infamous. They could have been. Born over a century apart, their husbands were among the greatest, most famous men in world history and, especially, Anna Murray Douglass was (and continues to be) among the most forgotten women.
Like Bernice King, Rosetta Douglass Sprague wanted her mothers direct contributions to anti-slavery activism as well as to her husbands illustrious career noted and honored. In her paper Anna Murray Douglass: My Mother as I Remember Her, she said The story of Frederick Douglass hopes and aspirations and longing desire for freedom has been told. You all know it. It was a story made possible by the unswerving loyalty of Anna Murray. She went on to say, As is the condition of most wives her identity became so merged with that of her husband that few of their friends in the North really knew and appreciated the value of the woman who presided over the Douglass home for forty-four years.
Frederick Douglass rarely wrote about Anna Murray Douglass during her life, but after her death he poignantly inscribed what she meant to him in a letter addressed to Doctress S.M. Loquen dated August 12, 1882 (8 days after her death). He wrote, Mother was the post in the center of my house and held us together.
March 10, 2018- 3 to 6 pm
215 Tremont Street, Rochester, New York (Door 3|Floor 3)
Registration, $15. Register at http://AnnaMurrayDouglass.brownpapertickets.com
What is a Long Table Conversation?
The Long Table is an experimental open public forum that is a hybrid performance-installation-roundtable designed to facilitate dialogue through the gathering together of people with common interests developed by the artist and academic Lois Weaver. At this long table, all the invitees are artists, educators, culture workers or social justice advocates.
This is a performance of dinner table conversation where everyone seated at the table is a guest performer. Talk is the only course (though refreshments will be served before the conversation begins). There is no moderator just assistance from the host. It is a democracy. After the invited participants have chatted for 30-minutes, other attendees can tap someones shoulder to take a seat at the table. The original participants are welcomed back to the conversation through the same process. There is an end, but no conclusion.
About At the Crossroads: Activating the Intersection of Art and Justice
In an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. noted the most segregated hour in America was 11 am on Sunday morning a day and time in 1960 when most Christians were at worship in church. Unfortunately, US churches arent significantly more integrated today, and in Upstate New York, houses of worship are rivaled for the most segregated designation by the institutions and events of the art/culture sector.
At the Crossroads: Activating the Intersections of Art and Justice, which was founded by Rachel DeGuzman and is produced by her company 21st Century Arts with collaboratives of organizers, began with a singular event, but has evolved into an ongoing initiative. Employing various forms of performance, presentation, organizing, and engagement coupled with entrepreneurial, innovative and experiential approaches this initiative will help to expand the regional anti-racism movement that is rigorously underway in other sectors of our community to the art and culture landscape.
Why is this important? Despite generations of progress and good intentions, a few years ago we, in Greater Rochester, NY, acknowledged that systemic racism persists. The community responded with a multi-faceted approach, which for the most part, doesnt encompass the impact of racism in the art and culture sector. Art/culture continues to be a segregated landscape with great disparities in representation and resources.
-Existing inequities in art and culture threaten the sustainability and vitality of the sector as well as the viability of the community.
-Racism impacts the degree to which art and culture is valued by its broadest citizenry
-Racism frustrates efforts to expand participation, including the diversification of staffs, boards, audiences and patrons
-Racism in the sector limits the art/culture we are exposed to and its standards of excellence (Look to the success of Hamilton as one example of untapped potential)
-Racism in art and culture distorts the story of us, which is often interpreted and retold by creatives
-Persistent racism in art and culture lessens its (potentially) powerful capacity to bring us together
Gallery Seventy Four (View)
215 Tremont Street (Door 3/3rd Floor)
Rochester, NY 14608
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|