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Estimate: $ 400 - $ 600
(SLAVERY AND ABOLITION--DOUGLASS, FREDERICK.) Program for the Colored American Day. World's Columbian Exposition, Festival Hall. Small 4to sheet, folded to form three pages, printed on three sides; some discoloration and small stains to the blank last page, otherwise normal toning. Chicago, 25 August 1893
The Chicago Exposition of 1893 ignored black people in terms of representation in the exhibits and activities, to such a degree that the Court of Honor center of the fair was dubbed "The White City." Blacks were only allowed to work at the Exposition: Paul Lawrence Dunbar was a lavatory attendant, and James Weldon Johnson, a "chair boy." And while there were virtually no black exhibits or exhibitors at first, blacks were certainly welcome as paying customers, and even promised "2000 free watermelons." This was too much. The noted anti-lynching activist Ida B. Wells organized a protest of the Fair. To defuse the protest and avoid losing money, the sponsors designated Friday, August 25th as "Colored American Day." Frederick Douglass was made "President of the Day," drawing thousands who came to hear him speak. While not listed on this program, Booker T. Washington also spoke, and there were performances by Sissieretta Jones, the so-called "Black Patti." Scott Joplin performed as did Frederick Douglass's son Joseph, an accomplished violinist. All of the music of the day was under the direction of Harry Thacker Burleigh.