James A. Colaiaco received his Ph.D. in intellectual history from Columbia, and has for the past twenty-five years taught Great Books at New York University in the General Studies Program at NYU. Colaiaco is author of Socrates against Athens: Philosophy on Trail, Martin Luther King, Jr.: Apostle of Militant Nonviolence, and James Fitzjames Stephen and the Crisis of Victorian Thought.
Some five to six hundred people filed into Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York on July 5, 1852. They had come to hear the oration by Frederick Douglass celebrating the Fourth of July. By this time, he had become an esteemed abolitionist and the most famous black American of his era. Douglass had been invited to speak by the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society. [More...]