Archive for December, 2017

Photo Archive: Frederick Douglass Memorial Hall on Howard University Campus



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Photo Archives: Mr. Donald E. Scoggins w/ members of FDMHA & HUD Secretary Patricia Roberts Harris

Don_with FDMHA and Secretary Patricia Roberts Harris

Mr. Donald E. Scoggins with members of FDMHA and HUD Secretary Patricia Roberts Harris. Courtesy of FDMHA.

As an outgrowth of the Frederick Douglass Community Conference held earlier this month we’ve made connection with Mr. Donald Scoggins, a former resident of W Street SE and active member of the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association.

At the community conference Mr. Scoggins shared details of how the 6th HUD Secretary, Patrica Roberts Harris, was able to assist the Frederick Memorial and Historical Association, chartered by Congress in 1900, re-acquire ownership of land that Frederick Douglass purchased behind his Cedar Hill Estate. In coming weeks we plan to have more about this little known chapter in the modern history of Frederick Douglass’ home.

We share this photo with his permission and blessing. Mr. Scoggins shared the circumstances of the photograph:

It was held just days of her confirmation when she announced selling to the Association for $1.00.00 with 100% Section 8 rental subsidies tied to the 152 unit garden apartment complex formerly known as Cedar Gardens. It had been acquired several years earlier by the federal government through foreclosure.

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Rochester Oratorio Society presents FREDERICK DOUGLASS AT 200, February 16, 2018 @ Hochstein Performance Hall

Image may contain: one or more people, tree and outdoorThe Rochester Oratorio Society mounts a Bicentennial commemoration of the life of Frederick Douglass through readings, re-enactment and music, in FREDERICK DOUGLASS AT 200 to be held Friday, February 16, 2018, 7:30 P.M. in the Hochstein Performance Hall at 50 Plymouth Avenue North in Rochester.

Catherine Cerulli, Executive Director of the University of Rochester Susan B. Anthony Center, and Rochester Historical Society historian Dan Cody will collaborate in a pre-concert chat and exhibit beginning at 7:00 P.M.

Renowned Douglass re-enactor and Nazareth College faculty member, Dr. David Anderson, offers renditions of some of Douglass’s most revered writings between sections from American composer Kirke Mechem’s settings entitled Songs of the Slave, from his opera, John Brown. Students from Rochester Public School #12, who memorize Douglass passages yearly, will recite them for the ROS audience.

Tickets ($25, $10 student with ID) / (585) 473-2234 / or online.

This project is sponsored by a Humanities New York Action Grant.

Editor Note:

Recent article about Rochester’s Bicentennial efforts, in terms of receiving programmatic grants.


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“Bent But Not Broken” exhibit opens at Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis, February 13, 2018

Image result for banneker douglass museumBent But Not Broken – A Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Celebration Event

Maryland artist Ulysses Marshall captures Frederick Douglass’ spirit through his highly expressive mixed media compositions – his colorful and poetic collages delivered with blunt sincerity. Marshall’s work talks of the glory, the pain, and the hope in Douglass’ life and in the African-American experience.

Special Opening Reception: Saturday, February 17, 2018 3 pm – 5 pm

Exhibit brought to you by the Banneker-Douglass Museum

As the State of Maryland’s official museum of African American heritage, the Banneker-Douglass Museum serves to document, to interpret, and to promote African American history and culture (particularly in Maryland) through exhibitions, programs, and projects in order to improve the understanding and appreciating of America’s rich cultural diversity for all. The Banneker-Douglass Museum is a component of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, which is a unit of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives — an executive-department agency, whose mandate to coordinate outreach efforts to communities, organizations, and local governments across Maryland serves as a unifying principle for all its departments.


Banneker-Douglass Museum

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Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Events in Talbot County, Maryland – January & February 2018

FD 200 - Talbot County, MDThe Frederick Douglass Honor Society in partnership with the Talbot County Office of Tourism, have convened a committee of over 35 community organizations and churches to plan for a yearlong schedule of events to celebrate and honor the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass and to highlight for our community and especially young people, his legacy, values and inspirational messages that is still resilient today.


January 2018


Talbot County Council and the Town of Easton proclamation to declare the Year 2018 “Honor Frederick Douglass – An American Hero and Our Native Son.”


National Historic Preservation Alliance will sponsor Living History Interpreter

Bill Grimmette at Waugh United Methodist Church in Cambridge, Maryland

“The Honorable Mr. Douglass returns home to Tuckahoe Creek”

Free admission

February 2018

3rd         11:30-1:00 pm:

Chesapeake College

Black History Luncheon, the Chesapeake College Multicultural Advisory Committee in partnership with The Frederick Douglass Honor Society Celebrates Black History Month.

Guest speaker – Simeaka Melton, Queen Anne’s County Native and Founder, of Dear Girls Academy, Inc.

For ticket information go to:

Historic Marker _ St. Michaels MD _ FD5th           Noon:

Talbot County Free Library – St. Michaels

Brown Bag program: “500 Years of African-American History”, using the magic carpet of original newspapers dating from the 17th through the 21st centuries, Dr. Stephen Goldman transports you through 500 Years of African-American history.  Coffee and dessert will be provided.

7th           5:30 pm:

Panel Discussion

Black History of Talbot County at Oxford Community Center sponsored by John Wesley Preservation Society and African American Museum.

10th        8 – 10 am:

Prayer Breakfast

The Milestone (Sponsored by Frederick Douglass Honor Society)

  •                 Speaker – Pastor Clarence Wayman
  •                 Master of Ceremony – Dale Green
  •                 Music provided by John Wesley Wright (Salisbury University)

10th        4 – 6 pm:

Joy Night @ Union Baptist Church (Talbot County Branch of the NAACP)

University of Maryland – Eastern Shore

Gospel Choir, Union Baptist Choir, The Covenant Choir and The Hill Choir

12th        6 pm:

  • Bill Grimmette a Frederick Douglass Re-enactor at the Academy Art Museum
    $15 Member, $12 Non-Member

14th        Noon:

Celebrate Frederick Douglass’ Birthday – Wreath Laying at Frederick Douglass Statue in front of Talbot Vounty courthouse

  • Guest Speaker – Lyndra Marshall

15th –      Noon:

Talbot County Free Library – Easton

Lunch and Learn about Frederick Douglass Bicentennial.

Coffee and dessert will be provided.

15th –      6:00 pm:

Talbot County Free Library – Easton

Come and learn about Frederick Douglass and the women in his life.

17th        10-1 pm:

Frederick Douglass Family Art Day at the Academy Art Museum

FREE (Registration suggested)

17th      10 a.m. to noon: 4 to 6 year-old children / 1 to 3 p.m.: 7 to 9 year-old children

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum – STEAM Team class: “Digging into the Past: Happy Birthday, Frederick Douglass!”

17th       2:00 pm:

Talbot County Free Library – St. Michaels

“Putting Them on the Map:  Tracing African American Book History through GIS Technology”

Dr. Alisha Knight, Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Washington College

17th        7 – 9 pm:

Fred Morsel, Douglass re-enactor at the Historic Avalon Theatre in Easton, Maryland
Sponsored by Frederick Douglass Honor Society

23rd        3:30 pm:

Washington College Convocation – Honorary Degree given to Frederick Douglass

26th        12:00 pm -7:00 pm:

Talbot County Free Library – Easton

A day of films about people who shaped and inspired social change.  The day will conclude at 6:00 PM with a screening of Alice’s Ordinary People, a documentary about Alice Tregay, an unsung heroine of the Civil Rights Movement.

 For more information, Talbout County Free Library Winter 2018 Newsletter [PDF]

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AHA Conference — Frederick Douglass at 200: His Legacy in Our Time

What Would Frederick Douglasss Say

Copyright exclusive to William Alston-El and John Muller. Strictly enforced.

AHA Session 300

Sunday, January 7, 2018

11:00 AM-12:30 PM

Virginia Suite C (Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level)

Session Abstract

Douglass’s was an epic American life. It spanned most of the nineteenth century. In many ways, his journey to maturity unfolded in tandem with that of the United States itself. Douglass became an international celebrity in his lifetime, serving as an ambassador first culturally and later officially. His life illuminates important and compelling stories about the United States and the countries he visited. Douglass traveled to (among other places) England, Ireland, Scotland, Egypt, Canada, and Haiti.The bicentennial of Douglass’s birth falls in 2018 (February 14th in fact). It offers an extraordinary opportunity for teaching, storytelling, commemoration, and celebration, linking the local and the global. Programs and events will take place around the globe.

And even we–who began planning for his bicentennial a few years ago—are continually struck anew by ways in which Douglass’s legacy speaks to people and to politics today.

Here in the District of Columbia, where Douglass made his home for the last quarter-century of his life, a network has been forming among all the people, places, organizations, educational institutions, artists, and community groups worldwide who will mark Frederick Douglass’s bicentennial.

The proposed Roundtable brings together representatives of such organizations, diverse in location, mission, and focus. All share an interest in bringing Douglass’s life and legacy to wider audiences, and in connecting with likeminded others. This session showcases for conference attendees the vibrancy, innovation, and increasing interconnectedness of goals and programming among scholars and educational institutions, museums, stewards of historic sites and other interpreters of history for the public, human rights organizations, artists, and community groups. All aim to engage directly with questions of what Douglass’s past has to teach the present.

As a preview of bicentennial projects already begun, this session presents a diverse and democratic global bicentennial community in keeping with Douglass’s own lifelong commitment to diversity, to education and literacy, and to civic participation. The audience for our bicentennial community and programs encompasses students and teachers, artists, writers, churches, community groups, those who work in cultural heritage and historical interpretation of all kinds, as well as large swaths of the general public. We expect the audience for this session will be as similarly diverse as annual meeting attendance rules allow.

The four presenters and the commentator will each be held to a strict time limit of ten (10) minutes for their presentations, for a total of fifty (50) minutes. We will have printed flyers to distribute to the audience containing the short CVs or biographical paragraphs of all roundtable participants, thus eliminating the need for lengthy introductions. The chair will identify the participants, indicate the order of their presentations, and keep time, for an additional five (5) minutes. This will leave thirty-five (35) minutes for audience Q & A and discussion.

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Christmas Eve-Eve Walking Tours, December 23, 2017 – 9am & 11am – $20 adults / $10 seniors, veterans and children 13 and under

Image may contain: 16 people, people smiling, people standing, tree, grass, outdoor and natureAs the weather cools and a new year approaches join local historian and author John Muller for a walking tour to explore the history of Washington City’s first sub-division and the late 19th century stomping grounds of Frederick Douglass.

We will meet at the visitor’s center of Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (1411 W Street SE) and then ascend to the summit of Cedar Hill, the estate where Douglass spent the last 18 years of his life, and take in its panoramic views of the capital city skyline.

You will learn stories of Douglass’s professional and personal undertakings there, including his controversial second marriage, his service as United States Marshal, and his mentorship of a younger generation of activists. We will then descend into Historic Anacostia and explore the history, the homes, churches and sights that still remain, bringing forgotten historical characters to life such as Lingan B. Anderson who followed up on reports of John Wilkes Booth’s presence in Uniontown, Henry A. Griswold who with a group of investors that included Douglass brought the streetcar to Anacostia, and other prominent men and women of 19th century Uniontown.

Tours are $20 for adults & $10 for seniors, veterans and children 13 and under. Check, credit or cash will be accepted.

Walking tour will begin promptly at 9am and 11am on Saturday, December 23, 2017.

MetroRail: Anacostia (Green Line) is a 12 – 15 minute walk.

MetroBus: 90/92, A6, B2, V2 and W4.

For group rates please call 202.236.3413 or email

*Walking tour does NOT include tour of interior of the home. House tours and Ranger-led and must be coordinated through the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.*


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Frederick Douglass looks dead at the camera for photo of the Republican Notification Committee, Washington, D.C., Monday, June 20th, 1892 [NMAAHC]

Republican Notification Committee, Washington, D.C., Monday, June 20th, 1892A black-and-white photograph of men seated and standing in front of a doorway. They wear coats, many wear ties, and several hold bowler and top-hats. At the bottom right of the photograph is the address, “11th and Pa. Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C.”

Below the photograph is written “Republican Notification Committee / Washington, D.C., / Monday, June 20th 1892.” Frederick Douglass stands at the back, just left of the doorway.

FD _ closeA close-up of the visage of Douglass, the look of a man with serious life lived.

While many in the photo seem to have their attentions focused elsewhere or have their eyes slightly askew, Douglass is looking directly at the camera, dead eye.


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Colored Press Convention meets at the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church w/ Frederick Douglass, William Calvin Chase, Ferdinand Barnett, T. Thomas Fortune, Richard T. Greener and others attend

Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church at 1705 15th Street NW in Washington, D.C., circa 1899. The church was razed in the mid-20th Century. Library of Congress.

If we are to celebrate Frederick Douglass’ Bicentennial I advance that we recognize the full measure of his life. Yes, he is known as a runaway slave who rose to advise more than a half-dozen United States Presidents but let us not be so limited in our understanding of Douglass. Lest us not forgot the lesser-known Douglass, such as editor Douglass.

Ranger Nate Johnson at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site knows and has presented on Douglass as a journalist and an editor.

In our ongoing research on Douglass, we are continuously interested in his unsung and largely unknown role as Editor Emeritus of the Colored Press (today known as the Black Press).

One small item we found in a June 1882 edition of the National Republican lists Douglass in attendance of the second day of proceedings for the Colored Press Convention at the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church, near 15th and R Streets NW. This was Rev. Grimke’s home church.

Other journalists attending were T. Thomas Fortune, Benjamin T. Tanner (founder of the Christian Recorder), Ferdinand L. Barnett, William C. Chase of the Washington Bee, W. A. Pledger of Atlanta and Richard T. Greener, a past editor and contributor to the New National Era.

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Is there a Frederick Douglass mural in your neighborhood?

An effort is underway to document and chronicle Frederick Douglass-related murals throughout Washington, DC and surrounding environs. If you know a Fred Douglass mural or work of street art around your way, please give us a hand.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor

Photo by John Muller & William Alston-El. Copyright strictly enforced online and offline.

I’ve identified about ten locations, however some have come and gone.

1900 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue (wheat past is now gone)[pictured below]

Fred Douglass wheat past on lower Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE

Photo by John Muller & William Alston-El. Copyright strictly enforced online and offline.

Ketcham Elementary School (new)
2400 West North Avenue – Baltimore, MD [pictured]
Gregory Peck work (gone)

Any help is appreciated. Thank you all.


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