University Events

Archive Items

INSIGHTS Revisited: British Women in the Liberation of Frederick Douglass

Professor Leigh Fought, Le Moyne College, New York

Date/Time: Tuesday 30 June 2020, 17:30 - 18:30

Professor Leigh Fought visited Newcastle University in 2019 to deliver the Black History Month Lecture

Introduction by Dr Martin Farr, Co-Chair, Public Lectures Committee, Newcastle University

Newcastle University has a long history recognising the struggle for civil rights for black people. This was most vividly marked by the awarding of an honorary degree to Dr Martin Luther King in 1967, and, fifty years later, with the unveiling of a statue to him, outside King’s Hall where he received his degree and spoke, thrillingly. It’s a new tradition that Newcastle graduates and their guests pass him as they file past from Congregation; out, as it happens, in the direction of the student Union bar, which is named after the great man.

Next to Martin Luther King, the black historical figure with whom we have the closest association is Frederick Douglass, the pioneering nineteenth century social reformer and abolitionist who spent time in Newcastle in 1846, and after whom the University’s new learning and teaching centre has been named.

Insights has always marked Black History Month with a public lecture, and, where we can, with international scholars. In 2019 a world authority on Douglass, Leigh Fought, came from New York fresh from the publication of her biographical study of Douglass and his relationships with women. Given that two women in particular – the Newcastle sisters Anna and Ellen Richardson – proved pivotal in his liberation, Professor Fought focussed in her talk on the British women in Douglass’s life.

The lecture was chaired by my colleague Professor Susan-Mary Grant.

Join us on Tuesday 30 June to watch the lecture with fellow audience members and take part in the conversation online.