You can watch the replay of the Facebook Live feed embedded below OR directly on my facebook page. Fast forward to 12 minutes in, unless you really are just that committed to experiencing the live event feel, and you want to hear my hot pre-show playlist.


On July 1, 2016 Baratunde will deliver a speech Frederick Douglass delivered in 1852 titled "What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July?" Full event info is here, but the basic details are: show up in person at the Brooklyn Public Library Dweck Theatre or online via live stream(s) which will be embedded below. Start time is approximately 3pm ET.

Please RSVP for IRL or online here:


Performance IRL and Online

The performance will physically take place at the Dweck Center theatre downstairs at the Brooklyn Public Library, home to over 1 million volumes and founded in 1892 (40 years after Douglass's address in Rochester). We will start at roughly 3pm ET.

We will also live stream the event for anyone in the world to see. You'll be able to find the stream at Baratunde's website and follow/join along on Twitter under the hashtag #douglatunde for live tweeted excerpts, shared moments, and commentary.

What's Going On?

In 2011, while writing his soon-to-be best-seller How To Be Black, futurist comedian, writer and cultural critic Baratunde Thurston came across a speech he should have known by then. So moved was he by the power, humor, depth, and relevance of Frederick Douglass's 1852 speech, What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July?, Baratunde organized a small reading of the text in a conference room at The Onion and live streamed the performance on July 4th that summer. 

In 2016, Frederick Douglass's life and words are even more relevant. Douglass escaped slavery to fight a lifelong battle for the equality of women, Native Americans, African Americans and more. He agitated to the very end, and he was part of a long tradition of freedom fighters who demanded the United States live up to its ideals. With today's explosion of intersectional social movements around income inequality, undocumented migrants, #blacklivesmatter, LGBTQ rights, women's rights and more, it is time for a still-young nation to hear his inspiring and eviscerating words once more.

This workshop performance is very much a work in progress with the goal of more and better ahead. Consider it a "public beta" like America itself. 

It is directed by Mikhael Tara Garver and produced by her team and Baratunde with significant venue support provided by Brooklyn Public Library.