Rising Towards Unity

Rising Towards Unity is a series of events that seeks to raise awareness of the influential role our history of slavery continues to play in the United States as we struggle to achieve a more equal, just, and peaceful society.

March 12, 2019

TransAtlantic by Colum McCann

A tale spanning 150 years and two continents reimagines the peace efforts of democracy champion Frederick Douglass

A community reading lead by the Friends of the Grafton Public Library

7:00 pm – Grafton Historical Society

event details…

March 24, 2019

Yours for Humanity – Abby

Meet Massachusetts’ radical abolitionist, human and women’s rights activist – Abby Kelley Foster

Lynne McKenney Lydick

2:00 pm – Grafton Historical Society

event details…

April 28, 2019

Life of Frederick Douglass

Learn about this extraordinary social justice activist and why his words and work still matter

Edward O’Donnell

2:00 pm – South Grafton Community House

event details…

June 2, 2019

Women in the World of Frederick Douglass

The story of the important women who created and supported Frederick Douglass

Leigh Fought

2:00 pm – Grafton Community Barn

event details…

July 5, 2019

Reading Frederick Douglas Together

Community gathering to experience the moving words of Frederick Douglass’ famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

6:00 pm – Grafton Common

event details…

Abridged text of speech. This is the version of the speech that will be read on July 5th.

Full text of speech

Recommended reading:

Before Freedom Came: African-American Life in the Antebellum South
Edward Campbell, Jr., Kim Rice
Museum of the Confederacy and the University Press of Virginia, 1991

Many Thousand Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America
Ira Berlin
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
David Blight
Simon & Schuster, 2018

Bound for Canaan: The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America
Fergus Bordewich
Harper Collins, 2005

Life and Times of Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass
Bonanza Books, a division of Crown Publishing, 1962

Never Caught; The Washington’s Relentless Pursuit of Their runaway Slave, Ona Judge
Erica Armstrong Dunbar
37INK, ATRIA, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, 2017

Africans in America: America’s Journey through Slavery
Charles Johnson, Patricia Smith, WGBH Research Team
Harcourt Brace & Company, 1998

Rising Towards Unity is a project of:
  • Friends of the Grafton Public Library
  • Grafton Historical Society
  • Grafton Public Library
  • Unitarian Universalist Society of Grafton & Upton