Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches

22 March 2024

Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches

Revolution starts with a voice. The HBO documentary Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches brings to life five legendary speeches from the most famous American anti-slavery activist in history to further understand his story and the story of America.

After his escape from slavery at age 20, Frederick Douglass went on to become the most famous Black man in the nineteenth century, known for the power of his words. Entirely self-taught, Douglass was a powerful writer and master orator, crafting speeches that called out American hypocrisy and challenged the nation to live up to its founding principles. 

Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches offers a new approach to understanding Douglass’ story, guided entirely by his own words to chart his rise from a passionate young agitator to a composed statesman whose words retain their urgency over a century after his time.

Inspired by David Blight’s Pulitzer Prize winning biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, the documentary is narrated by Black Reel Award nominee André Holland (Moonlight, Selma), with Oscar nominees Colman Domingo (Rustin, The Color Purple, Euphoria, Fear the Walking Dead) and Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction, Rustin, Westworld), and Critics Choice Award and Black Reel Award nominee Nicole Beharie (892, Miss Juneteenth, American Violet) among the actors giving voice to Douglass’ speeches.  

The doccie earned filmmaker Julia Marchesi a 2022 Emmy Award nomination for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, and a nomination for the Humanitas Prize.

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