Douglass Day 2023 – Press Kit

Douglass Day 2023 press release and press kit coming soon!


Media Backgrounder on Douglass Day

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. This year, we will hold a transcribe-a-thon and read-a-thon focused on the papers of Anna Julia Cooper. All are invited! Learn more about the history of Douglass Day.

What is a transcribe-a-thon?

During these events, we can help enhance digitized archives. We’ll have food, music, and a fun time! Our main activity will be transcribing the words in all sorts of documents (from letters and diaries to certificates and postcards). Don’t feel comfortable reading old handwriting? Try working in pairs. There’s also lots of typewritten documents that are easier to read. And we have lots of tutorials, guides, and more in the Organizer’s Kit. Let’s dive in!

Quick facts about Douglass Day

  • Douglass Day celebrations began around the turn of the 20th century and helped inspire Black History Month
  • A group at the University of Delaware helped revive Douglass Day in 2017. 
  • This year’s event will be the sixth annual celebration of Douglass Day in its latter day form.
  • Douglass Day helps create new digital resources for African American history each year. All materials created are made free & open to all. 

Participation Totals

Estimated totals: 12,550 people in 340 locations

  • 2017 – 250 people in 9 locations
  • 2018 – 1600 people in 130 locations
  • 2019 – 300 people in 9 locations
  • 2020 – 2800 people in 75 locations
  • 2021 – 7600 people in 117 locations
  • 2022 – 4400 people in 85 locations

Visuals for coverage about Douglass Day

Available on