Celebrating Black America: Lessons of the Hour

February 1, 2022

The Town of Carrboro welcomes the community to join us as we host Celebrating Black America for Black History Month.

On Thursday, Feb. 10, from 6 to 8 p.m., the town will host local history scholars and community leaders to view Fred Morsell’s 1994 reenactment of one of the last great speeches by Frederick Douglass entitled “The Lessons of the Hour.”

Delivered on Jan. 9, 1894, at Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Douglass’ speech addresses topics ranging from racial terror and lynching to colonization and voting rights.

“There are many things in this speech that are extremely relevant today,” said James Williams Jr., an organizer of Celebrating Black America. “For example, Douglass wanted to see the vote expanded, much as we want today. Voting, and the ability to participate in democracy, is a racial justice issue as much as it is a civil rights issue. He makes this point nearly 130 years ago.” 

Following the video re-enactment, a panel discussion will be conducted by the following community members:

  • James Williams Jr., Chair the NC Commission On Racial And Ethnic Disparities and Retired Public Defender for Orange and Chatham Counties, N.C.

The program is co-sponsored by the Town of Carrboro, the Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Department, and the Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition.

The Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition was formed in the fall of 2018. It partners with the Equal Justice Initiative to document and memorialize the victims of racial terror violence in Orange County. Through programming, the coalition educates and engages the community on this history and how its legacy lingers today. OCCRC seeks to foster meaningful dialogue about race and justice as we work to build a society rooted in equal justice.  To learn more, please visit https://occrcoalition.org/