Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass

7 min. Weston Woods. 2017. $59.95. ISBN 9781338162004.
Gr 2–5—There is a statue in Rochester, NY, that depicts its native daughter, Susan B. Anthony, and her guest, Frederick Douglass, at tea, which inspired this video, based on Dean Robbins's picture book biography. It traces the childhood backgrounds of the two leaders and describes how their aspirations grew. Both wanted more and observed early on that "some had rights; others had none." For Douglass, who was enslaved, reading and writing were forbidden, but he secretly became literate, and Anthony wanted to learn what boys were studying. Douglass said, "Right is of no gender or color, and truth is of no color," and both became passionate speakers for equal rights for women and blacks. Douglass later moved to Rochester so he and Anthony could help each other. The simplicity of the animation and the contemplative background music draw viewers into the coziness of Anthony's parlor and invite them to listen to the ideas of two great human rights champions as they sip tea together. Excerpts from their speeches are heard at the conclusion. "Some liked their ideas; some didn't," but everyone can feel the power of Douglass's words: "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."
VERDICT This inspirational DVD will be useful in schools and classrooms.

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