New Directions


THE OCCASION. a program commemorating the publication of the first volume of the papers of Frederick Douglass, escaped slave, abolitionist, journalist, eloquent and prophetic spokesman against oppression in its various and sundry guises. THE SETTING.' Ford's Theatre in Washington, D. C., where the man responsible for the emancipation of many of Douglass's sisters and brothers in bondage met his doom. ON STAGE: actress Ruby Dee weaves a forceful commentary on Douglass's life while a flute plays quietly in the background. "Douglass came to the conclusion," she reads, "that freedom for the oppressed could not be won without struggle." As she speaks, a soft sound, a beautiful sound, a sound at once plaintive and defiant drifts down upon the audience from high up on the second balcony: And before I be a slave 1'1/be buried in my grave And go home to my Lord And be free