Save the Date for Douglass Day 2023

featuring the papers of

Mary Ann Shadd Cary

February 14, 2023
12-3 PM (EDT)

A collective day of love & action for Black history!

About Douglass Day 2023

Every Valentine’s Day, we invite you to a birthday party for Frederick Douglass. Although Douglass never knew his birthdate, he chose to celebrate every year on February 14th. We celebrate this date as a moment for creating Black history together.

How can I get involved?

  1. Host an event with your community or organization.
  2. Bring Douglass Day to your school.
  3. Join us online from wherever you are.


What is Douglass Day?

Douglass Day is an annual program that marks the birth of Frederick Douglass. Each year, we gather thousands of people to help create new & freely available resources for learning about Black history. We frequently focus on important Black women’s archives, such as Anna Julia Cooper (2020), Mary Church Terrell (2021), and plenty more to come in future years. Learn more about the history of Douglass Day.

See our Douglass Day pages for 201720182019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

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 set of plans and resources each year to help you bring Douglass Day to your group, school, or community. Free and open to all!  

What are we going to transcribe this year?

The papers of Mary Ann Shadd Cary! Stay tuned for more info on her rich, varied collections!

Will this year’s events be held in person or virtually?

This year, we cannot predict whether it will be safe to hold in-person events. We are going to wait and see (and hope). Fortunately, our event can adapt to both modes.

No matter how we celebrate, we can all watch the livestream and transcribe together. We encourage everyone to be safe and stay healthy. If you choose to hold a virtual event, you may wish to consult our Guide to Hosting Virtual Events.

Where can I see highlights from previous celebrations?

Watch Douglass Day videos and highlights on our YouTube channel.

Who is behind Douglass Day?

Our team includes lots of different people. Meet everyone on our About page.

Featuring the papers of Mary Ann Shadd Cary

In 2023, we will be transcribing and enriching the papers of Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823-1893). She was one of the earliest Black women to edit a newspaper, serve as a Civil War recruiter, attend law school, and so much more. We are pleased to be partnering with the Archives of Ontario, Libraries and Archives Canada, and many others. Together we are presenting newly digitized and fascinating collections from Shadd Cary’s long and fascinating life.

3rd Annual Douglass Day Bake Off

This year we are delighted to announce our third annual cake contest. Make your best cakes and desserts to celebrate Douglass and the women of the Colored Conventions. Post photos of your creations using the hashtag #DouglassDay on Twitter and Instagram to enter our contest!

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