Historical society program features conversations with Grant, Douglass

Published 2:23 pm Thursday, February 29, 2024

The Surry County  Historical Society and Museums Presents hosts “Fighting for Freedom,” A Conversation Between Frederick Douglass And General Ulysses S. Grant.

The program begins at 7 p.m., Monday, March 11, at Surry County High School, 1675 Hollybush Rd., Dendron.

Join Erik Curren as Gen, Ulysses S. Grant and Nathan M. Richardson as abolitionist Frederick Douglass for a conversation about the American Civil War and Reconstruction. 

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Hear their stories about slavery, the antebellum, as well as reflections on the personal relationship they forged during reconstruction in the years after the Civil War. This is a first-person interpretation and will be an immersive conversation that allows the audience to ask questions of both historic characters. 

This will be the first time these two impersonators have appeared together.

The program is designed for children and adults. Students are encouraged to attend.

Curren decided to portray Grant to help raise awareness of the figure who Americans of the late 19th century ranked as one of the top three leaders of U.S. history along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Highlighting Grant’s role in winning the Civil War, ending slavery and promoting civil rights both as commanding general and as 18th president, Curren has portrayed Grant around the east coast at sites including Gettysburg, the American Civil War Museum in Richmond and Grant’s Headquarters at City Point.    

Curren also is publisher of the U.S. Grant Bicentennial website at usgrant200.com, which celebrated the 200th anniversary of Grant’s birth in 2022.

Richardson is a published author, performance poet and Douglass historian. His poetry collections include “Likeness of Being,” “Twenty-one Imaginary T-shirts” and “The 7 Last Poems of an Unarmed Citizen.” He has been featured in several books.

Richardson is now in the 10th year of  the Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour —a living history performance in which he captures completely the physical and spiritual essence of the former slave, writer, orator and abolitionist. This living history series is a part of the Chautauqua Institute and has produced film credits with the National Park Service, Alabama Public Television.

Donations are needed to meet the expenses of this program, historical society members said in a news release. Patrons are asked to consider donating at the door or beforehand, Only cash and checks are accepted. Donations before the program may be mailed or delivered to Surry Historical Society, P.0. Box 262, Surry, VA 23883. 

Call 757-294-0404 or 757-377-7985 for more information or email surryhistoricalsociety@gmail.com.