Ball State University is hosting an event celebrating the legacy of social reformer Frederick Douglass with a special performance, “The Frederick Douglass Jazz Works,” created and composed by Ruth Naomi Floyd.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is being held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at the University’s John J. Pruis Hall.

In addition to the public concert on Feb. 22, Ms. Floyd will meet with Ball State students and present a concert for local middle and high school students, and some of her ensemble will conduct a master class in the School of Music.

“We are excited to bring together the Muncie community, including local schools, for an unforgettable program celebrating the legacy of Frederick Douglass through jazz,” said Dr. Nathanael Snow, assistant teaching professor of Economics at Ball State. “This event not only honors Douglass’ remarkable achievements but also serves as a meaningful educational experience for the public, fostering an appreciation for history, culture, and the arts.”

The Feb. 22 event will also feature a temporary exhibition of several original drafts of historic works, courtesy of Remnant Trust. A list of the drafts showcased in this exhibition is listed below. Remnant Trust, known for its collection of rare and important works of literature, philosophy, and political thought, has generously loaned these artifacts to Ball State for this special occasion. The exhibition underscores Ball State and the Remnant Trust’s commitment to fostering history and intellectual curiosity among our community.

“We are honored to support this extraordinary exhibition featuring original drafts by Frederick Douglass, courtesy of the Remnant Trust,” said Dr. David J. Roof, associate professor of Educational Studies. “This showcase offers a unique opportunity for our community to connect with Douglass’s legacy in a tangible and profound way, fostering dialogue, reflection, and deeper understanding.”

The following works will be on display at the Feb. 22 event:

  • Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom. Part I. - Life as a Slave. Part II. - Life as a Freeman., 1855 | First Edition, with frontispiece.
  • Frederick Douglass, Harper’s Weekly: Journal of Civilization [Article on Frederick Douglass], 1883 
  • Frederick Douglass, Deed for Property in Washington, 1885
  • Frederick Douglass, U. S. Grant and the Colored People, 1872
  • Frederick Douglass, Equality of all Men before the Law Claimed and Defended, 1865
  • Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation, 1862
  • Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation Proclamation, 1864
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp, 1856
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, 1852
  • United States Congress, Internal Revenue Act, 1862
  • American Anti-Slavery Society, Anti-Slavery Record, 1836
  • American Anti-Slavery Society, Anti-Slavery Almanac, 1846
  • William Wilberforce, A Letter on the Abolition of the Slave Trade, 1807
  • Lysander Spooner, The Unconstitutionality of Slavery, 1839
The Institute for the Study of Political Economy, of Ball State’s Miller College of Business, is presenting this event as part of Ball State’s annual Madam C.J. Walker Colloquium in Political Economy, which explores the relevance of entrepreneurship and free enterprise for the past, present, and future of historically marginalized groups.