Friday, July 3, 2020

Words from yesterday for today

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Experience "Not Just Another Day Off" and start a new conversation 

For thirteen years the Folger has presented "Not Just Another Day Off," a poetic celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday. In January 2019, award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson joined us for this special event which combines poetry with historical speeches from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, and others.

With the evolving national conversation on race and institutional and structural racism, we selected this recording from the Folger archives for you.  With the coming Independence Day holiday, we thought to return to the incredible speeches that were read that day, including "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" by Frederick Douglass.

Joining Marilyn Nelson were actors Sara Barker, Jeremy Hunter, and Fatima Quander.

You can click here to listen to the entire reading or click on the speech or poem titles below for that specific speech or poem.

This event was co-sponsored by the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University.

We are deeply grateful to have you as a part of the Folger community. If you are able, I hope you will consider making a gift today to help sustain Folger Poetry and programs like it.

Enjoy the reading!

2019 Not Just Another Day Off

The Declaration of Independence - Founding Fathers (1776)
Sara Barker

"What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" - Frederick Douglass (1852)
Fatima Quander, Sara Barker, Jeremy Hunter

"Ain't I A Woman?" - Sojourner Truth (1851)
Women's Rights Convention, Old Stone Church, Akron, Ohio
Fatima Quander

"The Gettysburg Address" - Abraham Lincoln (1863)
Sara Barker

Poems – Marilyn Nelson
Across the Parade
A Wreath for Emmett Till
Miracle in the Collection Plate

"I've Been To The Mountaintop" -  Martin Luther King Jr. (1968)
Jeremy Hunter

Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech - Martin Luther King Jr. (1964)
Jeremy Hunter

Poems – Marilyn Nelson
The Tulsa Convulsion
Making History
Minor Miracle
Words and Whispers

Inaugural Address - John F. Kennedy (1961)
Sara Barker

"Equal Rights for Women" - Shirley Chisholm (1969)
Fatima Quander

"The Other America" - Martin Luther King Jr. (1961)
Jeremy Hunter