The Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University presents

The Fire of Freedom

  • Mon, April 11 at 7:00pm
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    SAFETY COMMITMENT: Your safety is our top priority. The Carolina Theatre of Durham has upgraded our HVAC systems and filtration to provide the safest air possible and increased our cleaning to GBAC Star-certified COVID standards. Masks are recommended to be worn while inside the theater but are no longer required. Please note, entry requirements are subject to change. Learn more.

    “The Fire of Freedom,” a one-man play starring actor Mike Wiley and featuring vocalist Mary Williams, depicts a freedom fighter’s journey from ex-slave to one of the most compelling political leaders of his time.

    Abraham Galloway was born near Wilmington, N.C. in 1837. He escaped from slavery, became a radical abolitionist, risked his life behind Confederate lines as a Union spy, and recruited hundreds of Black soldiers to fight during the Civil War. He was known for his fiery oratory, his swagger, and his habit of visibly wearing his pistol at his hip. He was part of a delegation of Black southerners who met with Abraham Lincoln in the White House to demand suffrage and the full rights of citizenship. Following the war, he was one of the first Black men elected to the North Carolina state legislature.

    Wiley will perform “The Fire of Freedom” at the Carolina Theatre at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 11, the play’s Durham premiere. This performance is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. They are available online via registration at