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The Agitators: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass
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The Agitators: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass

Author: PRX

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The Agitators tells of the enduring but tempestuous friendship of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Great allies? Yes. And at times, great adversaries. Young abolitionists when they met in Rochester, New York in the 1840s, they were full of hope and a common purpose. As they grew to become the cultural icons we know today, their movements collided and their friendship was severely tested. Follow these brilliant, flawed, and rebellious activists with host Ashley C. Ford. Their message still matters.

This six-part podcast is based on the play The Agitators; playwright Mat Smart used historical documents to imagine Susan and Frederick’s conversations. The Agitators is brought to listeners by the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, the National Park Service, and PRX.
7 Episodes
Host Ashley C. Ford introduces The Agitators, a six-part play-turned-podcast coming Nov. 18, 2020. We’re joined by the team from the onstage production: Actors Cedric Mays (Frederick Douglass) and Madeleine Lambert (Susan B. Anthony), Director Logan Vaughn, and Composer Juliette Jones of Rootstock Republic.
When Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony met in the late 1840s, he was one of the most well-known people in the United States and she was an unknown schoolteacher who had just quit her job because of unequal pay.  Not long after, Frederick recruited Susan to be a lecturer with him in the Anti-Slavery Society and their friendship deepened.
From facing an angry mob to speak out against slavery to waiting for Harriet Tubman to arrive with African-Americans escaping slavery, this episode brings to life Frederick and Susan’s agitations during the Civil War.
In the years after the Civil War, Frederick and Susan fight to make the United States a country for all, where everyone can vote. What gets in the way of this dream? Will their friendship survive betrayal?
In the unlikeliest of places, an integrated baseball game in 1870, Susan and Frederick attempt to repair the rift between them. Then, in 1872, an act of hate threatens to push them even further apart.
Frederick Douglass dreamed of a day “where even the constancy of hate breaks down and where the clouds of pride, passion, and selfishness vanish before the brightness of infinite light.” In this episode, as Frederick’s hopes are sidetracked by personal loss, Susan attempts to help him find his way back.
Susan and Frederick, well into their 70s, confront one another like prizefighters who don’t know when to quit. Will they finally see eye-to-eye on not only the past, but on how to agitate for a better future?
Comments (1)

Julie Delgado

I love this!!! The directing , the actors , the music, the play are wonderful! I'm imagine being a witness to the events unfolding! l can't wait for more! thank you,. Julie Delgado

Nov 22nd
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