“Instead of the bright, blue sky of America, I am covered with the soft, grey fog of the Emerald Isle. I breathe, and lo! the chattel becomes a man.”
Taking refuge after the publication of his Narrative of the Life of a Slave when he was in danger of being re-enslaved, Frederick Douglass as a young man traveled to Ireland and Britain in 1845. Encouraged by the lack of racial discrimination and inspired by the non violent approach of Irish nationalist Daniel O’Connell, whom Douglass befriended, Douglass found hope for equality in both America and Ireland during his visit. The friendship between Douglass and O’Connell spurred both men to continue their struggle towards universal freedom. Next month the Faith & Politics Institute will lead a delegation to Northern Ireland & Ireland exploring this rich history of nonviolent approaches to justice, peace and reconciliation. During our Easter pilgrimage Congressman John Lewis will give the inaugural Frederick Douglass-Daniel O’Connell Address at the Iveagh House in Dublin.