The 1893 World’s Fair

The 1893 World Fair took place in Chicago, Illinois, welcoming countries from around the world to feature their contributions for everyone to see. With the festival’s arrival stateside, key Black leaders, such as Ida B. Wells and Frederick Douglas, joined forces to highlight the advancement of Black people post-Civil War.

However, the organizers refused to give the duo a formal exhibition space. As a result, Wells and Douglas used their own talents by creating a pamphlet that celebrated African-American achievements and calling attention to the harsh treatment Southern White Americans were subjecting Black citizens. In the end, a formal “Negro Day” was created, where Douglas took the stage, charging America’s leaders to hold up the words of their beloved constitution.

In this episode of Black History In Two Minutes or So hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. — with additional commentary from Chad Williams of Brandeis University, Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times and Mia Bay of the University of Pennsylvania, we celebrate two Black leaders who entered the international arena with hopes of highlighting the achievements of Black Americans.

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Archival Materials Courtesy of:
• Getty Images
• Library of Congress
• The New York Public Library

Additional Archival by:
• Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University
• Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Joele and Fred Michaud
• Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
• National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
• The Field Museum Library
• The Morning Call
• U.S. National Park Service
• University of Chicago Library

Executive Producers:
• Robert F. Smith
• Henry Louis Gates Jr.
• Dyllan McGee
• Deon Taylor

Senior Producer:
• William Ventura

Series Producers:
• Chinisha Scott
• William Ventura

Executive in Charge of Production:
• Robert L. Yacyshyn

Post Production Supervisor:
• Veronica Leib

Post Production Coordinator:
• Katherine Swiatek

Written By:
• Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Additional Writing:
• Kevin Burke
• Kelsi Lindus
• Chinisha Scott
• William Ventura

• Margaret Metzger
• Anne Yao

• Kevin Burke

Archival Producer:
• Megan Graham

• Zoë Smith

Assistant Editors:
• Patrice Bowman
• Nicholas Mastrangelo

Director of Photography:
• Nikki Bramley
• Nausheen Dadabhoy
• Stephen McCarthy

Graphic Design:
• Anthony Kraus

Special Thanks:
• Daina Ramey Berry
• Sam Hartley
• Elyssa Hess
• Stacey Holman
• Hasan Jeffries
• Peniel Joseph
• Imani Perry

Music By:
• Oovra Music

Be Woke presents is brought to you by Robert F. Smith and Deon Taylor.

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