Archive for May, 2019
Prof. Solomon G. Brown, first African American official of the Smithsonian Institution, friend to Dr. Frederick Douglass and community activist
With recent announcements of the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum naming a new director followed by news the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum for African American History and Culture, Lonnie G. Bunch III, will become the Smithsonian Institution’s 14th Secretary we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge Professor Solomon G. Brown, who served the Smithsonian Institution for more than a half-century as its first African American employee.
While an activist resident of the Hillsdale community on Elvans Road, Prof. Brown was friends with Dr. Frederick Douglass of Jefferson Street in the nearby Anacostia community. Brown and Douglass attended (and spoke) at the same literary events, local church groundbreakings and school graduations. Prof. Brown was a member of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church. Upon his passing in 1906, Rev. Francis Grimke, who performed the ceremonies for the second marriage of Dr. Douglass, officiated Brown’s funeral.
According to the Smithsonian, Brown served from 1852 to the early 1900s and during his time at the Smithsonian, he held many titles and performed many duties in service to the Institution. Brown served under the first three Smithsonian Secretaries, Joseph Henry, Spencer Fullerton Baird, and Samuel P. Langley.
As local inhabitants well know the Salvation Army building at Morris Road and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE is named after Professor Brown.
ST. MICHAELS — St. Michaels Museum will open a new exhibit in June about historic St. Mary’s Square.
St. Mary’s Square has a long history covering 240 years. It was the center of a 1778 town plan put together by James Braddock during the American Revolution.
Braddock’s plan featured the square surrounded by 20 lots, a market house and two gates, north and south. It was the center of the early town, and featured over the years Sadis Chapel, the early St Luke’s Church and several schools (public and private).
Today, it is the location of St Michaels Museum.
In addition to the new exhibit, the museum offers docent-led walking tours on Saturdays through Oct. 26. Walking tours of the town start at 10 a.m., and cost $10 for adults and $5 for children 6 to 17. Private tours are available for $50. Other days and times can be arranged by calling Kate Fones at 410-745-4323.
“Frederick Douglass, as a Slave, in St. Michaels 1833-36” is offered on the first and third Saturdays of each month.
This is a 90-minute walking tour giving a view of the early life of St. Michaels’ most famous 19th century resident and the most important African-American abolitionist of the Civil War era.
“Historic St. Michaels: Its People, Places and Happenings” is offered on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.
This 90-minute walking tour highlights St. Michaels during the 19th century. Stories will be told by viewing many restored structures from that era and describing life of famous and typical residents of these times, including Douglass.
The St. Michaels Museum is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.
More information is available at www.stmichaelsmuseum.org.
Congratulations to the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center on the upcoming opening!
Maryland Commission on African American History & Culture -> Public Meeting, Mon., June 3, 2019 @ 11 AM (Asbury United Methodist Church, “The Hill,” Old Easton, Talbot County, Maryland)
Boyd K. Rutherford
Maryland Commission on African American History & Culture
Dale Glenwood Green
Tamara England Wilson
Notice of Annual Meeting
Historic Asbury United Methodist Church
The Hill Community (1788)
18 South Higgins Street
Easton, Maryland 21601
Monday, June 3, 2019
Please contact us by
phone (410) 216-6181 or by
The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC) is committed to discovering, documenting, preserving, collecting, and promoting Maryland’s African American heritage. The Commission also provides technical assistance to institutions and groups with similar objectives. Through the accomplishment of this mission, the MCAAHC seeks to educate Maryland citizens and its visitors about the significance and impact of the African American experience in Maryland. The MCAAHC is a unit of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives.
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Maryland Commission on African American History & Culture
C/O Banneker-Douglass Museum
84 Franklin Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
Talbot County found itself in the spotlight in 2018 when the world marked the 200th birthday of the great abolitionist, orator, and writer Frederick Douglass. Harriette Lowry of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society pulled together more than 45 local organizations to form the Frederick Douglass 200 Committee. The group created a year-long series of events designed to honor the life and legacy of Talbot County’s most famous native son.
Events included a wreath laying at Douglass statue at the County Courthouse, a February 14 birthday celebration on the banks of the Tuckahoe, a speaker series at the Talbot County Free Library, performances by reenactors throughout the year, and the annual Frederick Douglass Day celebration. These events laid the groundwork for future efforts to create tourism products to tell the story of Douglass’ youth and to attract visitors looking for Frederick Douglass.
We look forward to future efforts to uplift the history with true dignity and honor.
Washington Bee publishes pamphlet of DC Emancipation Day speeches of Hon. Dr. Frederick Douglass 
In the twilight of a public career spanning more than a half-century, as one of the last old world abolitionist newspapermen breathing, Dr. Frederick Douglass took it upon himself to mentor a quarrelsome younger generation of correspondents and editors of the colored press that vacillated between admiration and antipathy for the former runaway fugitive slave editor.
Of the most pugnacious and confrontational voices within the leading class of Reconstruction journalists of the “colored press” Douglass embraced was native Washingtonian William Calvin Chase, Esq., publisher of the weekly Washington Bee from 1882 until his death in 1921.
Douglass and Chase had countless public disagreements over national and local politics, including the evolution of rival factions in the 1880s over the annual April celebration of Washington City’s Emancipation Day. Some years two parades would occur.
Not part of the modern mythomania advanced by Douglass scholars is the support Douglass directly and indirectly contributed to veterans organizations, relief associations, orphanages, churches, colleges, night schools and the local press, female press and black press during his more than a quarter-century of public life in Washington City.
Don’t believe the dishonorable and shameful lies of the disgraceful scandalmongering David Blight.
Since William Calvin Chase is not among the living to eviscerate Blight’s Pulitzer I will embrace the mandate as a contributing correspondent of Washington City’s modern black press corps.
The extra necessary seriousness of history today is due the extra necessary seriousness of properly and scholastically recognizing and uplifting the history and story of yesterday.
Get your pamphlets up. Study your lessons.
No mercy nor pardon will be afforded.
FOUR GREAT SPEECHES
HON. FRED. DOUGLASS.
The people of this country who desire to read the four great speeches of Hon. Fred. Douglass in pamphlet form can obtain them by sending 30 cents in postage stamps. The pamphlet will contain the Louisville speech, and the three great speeches delivered in this city April 16th, ’84, April 16th, ’85, April 16th, ’86.
The occasions being the anniversaries of the Emancipation of Slaves in the District of Columbia. For 30 cents in postage stamps a pamphlet will be sent to any address in the United States. Or we will send a copy of the BEE for one year and Mr. Douglass speeches for $2.20 ets.
W. CALVIN CHASE,
Editors of the Beee 1109 I st. n.w.
Video: Kenneth B. Morris, Jr, grandson of Frederick Douglass, speaks at Rutgers-Newark dedication of Frederick Douglass Athletic Field (April 2019)
Watch the full remarks of Kenneth B. Morris, Jr, the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great-grandson of Booker T. Washington, at the Rutgers-Newark Frederick Douglass Celebration. In 1849, famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass visited the African American community in Newark to fundraise for The North Star newspaper and to rally action around the abolition of slavery.
He gave a speech at the Plane Street Colored Church, located at the site which is now Rutgers-Newark’s Frederick Douglass Field. The site was also a stop on the Underground Railroad.
170 years later, on April 17, 2019, Rutgers-Newark and the city of Newark officially dedicated and celebrated the Frederick Douglass Athletic Field, located at University Avenue between Raymond Boulevard and Warren Street. Douglass’ great-great-great grandson Kenneth Morris, Jr. and descendants of the abolitionist families, that worked alongside Douglass, were at the ceremony.
Visit https://www.newark.rutgers.edu/freder… for details, photos, media mentions and more videos on the event.
Ranger Nate is now in South Carolina managing the Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site. Within short order Ranger Nate assisted in bodying forth revelatory history at Rose Hill, “Historians find fingerprints of long-forgotten SC slaves in 200-year-old bricks”
Old Anacostia extends the deepest sense of gratitude and respect to Ranger Nate for his five years of honorable and distinguished service and to all Rangers and staff, former and current, of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.