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Dr. Bill E. Lawson and Mr. Obataiye B. Akinwole

Frederick Douglass and the Irish Famine: Music, Suffering and the Sorrow Songs

Dr. Bill E. Lawson and Mr. Obataiye B. Akinwole

Recorded February 27, 2014

Dr. Bill E. Lawson is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Memphis, specializing in African American, Social, and Political Philosophy. 

Mr. Obataiye B. Akinwole is a composer and independent scholar.  He was one of the founding members of WAFR, a radio station celebrating African history, politics, and culture. 

This lecture intends to inspire a reassessment of the life and times of Frederick Douglass as an aesthete.  This investigation of Douglass's aesthetic sensibilities is approached in an interdisciplinary manner drawing on the disciplines of philosophy, music, history, American, and Irish Studies.  It is concluded that Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist and great orator, was also an aesthetician and ethnomusicologist.