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Frederick Douglass AI portrait
Eagle Hill School

Studio 242: Frederick Douglass Workshop

Jump starting Black History Month with Insightful Sessions on Douglass' Legacy and Creative Expression.

As Black History Month approaches, Eagle Hill has taken a proactive step by recognizing the legacy of Frederick Douglass through an insightful workshop held at Studio 242. Through this enlightening event, students learned about the pivotal role Douglass played in shaping the narrative during a tumultuous period in American history. They also explored the art of zine-making as a form of accessible and engaging journalism.

Honoring Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass, a remarkable figure in American history, was an escaped slave turned abolitionist and the first black newspaper editor in the United States. Born into slavery around 1818 in Maryland, Frederick Douglass endured the dehumanizing horrors of bondage until he made a daring escape at the age of 20. His escape commenced the journey toward empowerment and advocacy for the rights of the oppressed. Douglass's eloquence and powerful storytelling skills garnered attention in abolitionist circles. Further expanding his influence, Douglass founded his newspaper, The North Star in 1847, solidifying his role as a prominent figure in the fight against slavery.

Zine-making Workshop

Ms. Patty Upshaw and Mr. Zach Turner co-hosted the “Fredrick Douglass and the importance of the North Star” workshop at Studio 242 and in the library. Ms. Upshaw lectured on Douglass's biography, shedding light on his journey from enslavement to becoming a prominent advocate for freedom and equality. The workshop emphasized the importance of Douglass's work as a newspaper editor, particularly highlighting his contributions through his publication. After the session with Ms. Upshaw, Mr. Turner led the students as they delved into the art of zine-making. Zines, short for "magazines," are small, self-published booklets that serve as a powerful medium for self-expression and storytelling. The integration of zine-making into the workshop added a creative dimension to the celebration, allowing students to translate their newfound knowledge of Douglass's life into tangible, visually compelling narratives.

Dr. Matthew Kim, a teacher at Eagle Hill, reflecting on the workshop, shared, "The Fredrick Douglass and The North Star Activity was an important event at Studio 242 for our students because it provided us not only an opportunity to learn about the first black newspaper editor in the United States but also about the importance of making and disseminating accessible, engaging journalism and narratives to a public."

As the month progresses, Eagle Hill will continue to explore the invaluable contributions of black leaders throughout history.

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