Northern Ireland

Hume Foundation to partner Douglass anti-slavery week in Belfast

Professor Christine Kinealy who has transcribed all the speeches Douglass gave in Ireland, said the anti-slavery campaigner always felt he had a home in Belfast. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA.
Professor Christine Kinealy who has transcribed all the speeches Douglass gave in Ireland, said the anti-slavery campaigner always felt he had a home in Belfast. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA. Professor Christine Kinealy who has transcribed all the speeches Douglass gave in Ireland, said the anti-slavery campaigner always felt he had a home in Belfast. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA.

The John and Pat Hume Foundation has been announced as the partner organisation for next year’s Douglass Week in Belfast, commemorating the life of anti-slavery campaigner, Frederick Douglass.

A statue of Douglass, who was born into slavery, was unveiled at Belfast's Lombard Street on Monday, marking his visits to the city in 1845-46. Considered a founder of the US civil rights’ movement, Douglass won praise for his powerful speeches denouncing slavery and raising funds for the abolitionist cause in the US.

Next year’s Douglass Week in Belfast will celebrate and commemorate the anti-slavery campaigner’s life through a series of in-personal and online events in Belfast and around Ireland and the US.

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The John and Pat Hume Foundation was established to nurture and develop the legacy of Nobel laureate, Mr Hume and his late wife, Pat. News that the organisation was to partner next year’s events was confirmed by secretary, Tim Attwood.

Mr Attwood said: “He (Douglass) fond a warm welcome as he travelled throughout the island, delivering lectures to enthusiastic crowds in Dublin, Cork, Wexford, Waterford, Youghal, Limerick and Belfast.

“Invited by the Belfast Anti-Slavery Society, Douglass gave eleven lectures in Belfast and returned to the city several times. In a letter to fellow abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison, sent on 1st January 1846, Douglas wrote: ‘I can truly say I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life since landing in this country. I seem to have undergone a transformation. I live a new life’.”