Stagville and the Roots of Durham

Start you July 4th off Intentionally

Consider starting your July 4th holiday at Stagville Historic Site for the annual Frederick Douglass Community Reading. PA will be offering drinks to everyone at the event.  This is a wonderful way to take time to reflect on this holiday as well as visit an historic site in Durham.


Commemorate Independence Day with a reading of Frederick Douglass' powerful Fourth of July address, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July." This is a participatory community reading. Every year, 60 volunteers sign up to read passages from the speech in front of the slave dwellings at Horton Grove. You may sign up as a reader when you arrive. 

Copies of the speech are linked on this page, or available in person at the event. Please print and bring your own copy to follow along!

Douglass delivered this powerful abolitionist speech on July 5, 1852 at an Independence Day celebration in Rochester, New York. Douglass' speech remains one of the most famous abolitionist texts in U.S. history. The speech resonates today, inviting all to reflect on the history of slavery, freedom, and the United States' founding ideals.

Bring a chair or blanket to sit on the grounds. The event will be outdoors at the historic slave quarters at Horton Grove. Attendees must walk less than one hundred yards over uneven grass or gravel to reach the reading site. 

This free event will last about 1 hour, with the option to tour the original slave dwellings at Horton Grove available afterwards. 

July 04, 2024 at 10:00am - 11:30am
Stagville Historic Site
5828 Old Oxford Hwy
Durham, NC 27712
United States
Google map and directions
Ann Rebeck · · 919-682-7777
Ann Rebeck

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