David W. Blight, Ph.D, is the Sterling Professor of History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. In October of 2018, Simon and Schuster published his new biography of Frederick Douglass, entitled, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, which has won over seven book awards including the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, the Bancroft Prize for History, and the Francis Parkman Prize.
David Blight is no stranger to the Eastern Shore where he has conducted research on Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), Talbot County’s most famous native son. In June of 2011 Blight was invited by the Frederick Douglass Honor Society to be the keynote speaker at the dedication of the statue of Douglass on the lawn of the Talbot County Courthouse.
Professor Blight has always been a teacher first. At the beginning of his career, he spent seven years as a high school history teacher in his hometown of Flint, Michigan, before entering graduate school. There he studied the history of the Civil War and the role of slavery and its abolition, with particular focus on Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery near the banks of Tuckahoe Creek, Douglass escaped what could have been a lifetime of bondage to become nationally and internationally renowned as the 19th century’s most famous orator and writer on the abolition of slavery and for the equality of all peoples.
David Blight speaks and writes with deep understanding and appreciation of Douglass’s legacy in his own times and in ours.