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Frederick Douglass IV

A one-man portrayal of the man some consider the father of the civil rights movement

An actor best known for roles in hit science fiction fare is now bringing real history to the stage with “Frederick Douglass: In the Shadow of Slavery,” a one-man portrayal of the man some consider the father of the civil rights movement. Mel Johnson Jr.’s educational and entertaining performance, chronicling Douglass’ life from his childhood…

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An actor best known for roles in hit science fiction fare is now bringing real history to the stage with “Frederick Douglass: In the Shadow of Slavery,” a one-man portrayal of the man some consider the father of the civil rights movement.

Mel Johnson Jr.’s educational and entertaining performance, chronicling Douglass’ life from his childhood as a slave to his eventual role as a leading abolitionist. The production, which includes a look at Douglass’ friendships with Susan B. Anthony, John Brown and Abraham Lincoln, incorporates gripping plantation songs in the telling of Douglass’ life.

Johnson, an accomplished actor and director in movies, television and on Broadway, is perhaps best known roles as the mutant cab driver Benny in the 1990 science fiction film “Total Recall.”

Fans of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” will recognize him as Broca, the Cardassian who becomes leader of the Cardassian Union in the show’s final two episodes.

On television, Johnson was a regular on David Lynch’s “On the Air,” and he has guest-starred on many shows, including “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “The Practice.” On Broadway, Johnson recently starred as Mufasa in “The Lion King.” His other Broadway credits include “On the Twentieth Century” with Kevin Klein, “Eubie!” with Maurice and Gregory Hines, “The Rink” with Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera, “Big Deal” directed by Bob Fosse, and “Jelly’s Last Jam.”

Johnson was the executive producer of Big City Pictures, as well as the artistic director of the award-winning arts organization The Imagination Workshop.

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Frederick Douglass - Directed by Tom Dugan starring Mel Johnson Jr.

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