The Readout: A Conversation on the U.S. Diplomacy Center and African American History Month

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The Readout: A Conversation on the U.S. Diplomacy Center and African American History Month

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert held a conversation with Acting Director of the U.S. Diplomacy Center Olive Sampson and the Center’s Public Historian Alison Mann about the future museum and educational center devoted to telling the story of American Diplomacy. In recognition of Black History Month, they also discussed Ebenezer Bassett, the country’s first African American diplomat, and Frederick Douglass -- an abolitionist, writer, activist, civil servant, and diplomat -- on the occasion of his bicentennial.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Diplomacy Center hosted a panel discussion highlighting the diplomatic careers of Bassett and Douglass, who both served as U.S. ministers to Haiti. At this event, Christopher Teal, a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and author of Hero of Hispaniola: America’s First Black Diplomat, Ebenezer D. Bassett, discussed his current project, a documentary about Bassett, and screened a clip from the upcoming film. Dr. Ka’mal McClarin, Curator at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, National Park Service, provided insight into Douglass’s diplomatic career. Several artifacts belonging to Douglass during his time in Haiti were also on display. Follow the U.S. Diplomacy Center on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about these distinguished diplomats and to find out how you can become involved with the Center's programs.

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