An Evening with David Blight
with Guest Host Rochelle Riley, executive director of Arts, Culture and Entertainment for the City of Detroit
Yale Professor David Blight won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for his biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. Taking lessons from his subject on protest and political struggle, Blight is actively leading a call for a new civil rights movement.
Douglass, an escaped slave, went on to become an outspoken and widely respected orator, writer and supporter of not just the abolition of slavery, but equal rights for all people.
In a recent article in The Atlantic, Blight wrote that we "do not want our current shuddering troubles to end as the 1850s ended—in disunion and civil war. We need a 'Never again' mentality about that history. But we need to understand the portents of disunion.
“If America is coming apart, the 1850s provide poignant lessons,” he wrote. “That decade was the only time in our history when the nation dissolved, militarized, and ultimately went to war over competing visions of the future. It offers a stark warning about what can happen when political and legal institutions lose their hold on public trust and collapse."