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Welcome to Douglass Day 2020!

February 14, 2020
12 PM – 3 PM (EST)
(Note: all activities & materials are still available. And there’s plenty more to transcribe!)

Transcribe Cooper on Zooniverse


Watch Douglass Day on YouTube

Douglass Day 2020

On Valentine’s Day 2020, we invite you to a birthday party for Frederick Douglass. Although Douglass was born into bondage, and never knew his birthdate, he chose to celebrate every year on February 14th. Today we celebrate Douglass Day as a collective action for preserving Black history together.

Join us online or at local events to help transcribe, read, and teach the papers of Anna Julia Cooper, a visionary Black feminist. Her work influenced generations, yet today she is under appreciated. Help us share her writings & legacy with future generations!


(All times Eastern Standard)

Live broadcast – 12 to 12:30pm

  • Welcome & introductions
  • Sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (lyrics)
  • Overview for the Douglass Day 2020 program
  • Speakers on Douglass and Cooper

Activity – 12:30 to 1pm

Live broadcast – 1 to 1:30pm

  • Sing “Happy birthday” (both versions)
  • Speakers on Cooper in DC
  • Honoring Dunbar High School
  • Dunbar Student Poetry Readings
  • Speaker on Cooper and Alpha Kappa Alpha

Activity – 1:30 to 2:45pm

  • Time for transcribing, reading, discussions, etc.
  • During this time, we’ll leave the live stream running, but will go silent.

Live broadcast – 2:45 to 3pm

  • Closing Reflections


What is Douglass Day?
After Frederick Douglass passed away in 1895, African American communities gathered to celebrate his birthday every year on February 14th. These memorials offered a space for reflection on the past and the questions of today. Douglass Day was one of the origins of Black History Month. In 2017, the Colored Conventions Project revived these celebrations as an annual day for preserving Black history. Douglass Day is now an independent group, and welcoming new team members and participants. Learn more about the history of Douglass Day.
What is happening in 2021?
Stay tuned! We are developing plans and partnerships to feature during next year’s events. If you would like to get involved, please drop us a line at douglassdayorg [@]
What is a transcribe-a-thon?
Transcribe-a-thons are events in which people gather together to work side-by-side on a crowdsourcing transcription project. We feature a different project each year. We always try to have food, music, and a fun time! Want to hold a transcribe-a-thon? Our program team prepares a planning kit that enable anyone and their friends, students, or colelagues to join in the activity. For a past example, see our 2020 Organizer’s Kit.
What is a read-a-thon?
A read-a-thon can take on a few different forms. Sometimes, it can work like a book club with a common reading and a set of discussion questions. (See our page for 2020 Teaching Guide. In short, a read-a-thon is an event in which a group of people gather together to read and talk about a document from African American history.
Where can I order official Douglass Day swag?
Visit our section on Douglass Day swag. Prefer to create your own? We posted all of our graphics on the flyers page. Create away — and share with us! And stay tuned — we’ll soon have new designs for 2021!

Douglass Day 2020 is presented by

The Colored Conventions Project, the Anna Julia Cooper Digital Project, the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University, the Princeton University Center for Digital Humanities, and the Penn State University Libraries, Penn State’s Center for Humanities and Information, and the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts.

The transcribe-a-thon is made possible by training and generosity of the Zooniverse non-profit organization. We extend special thanks for support to the American Studies Association for a Community Partnership Grant.

Douglass Day 2020 Program Materials

Anna Julia Cooper Materials