Archive for May 4th, 2019

Video: “Frederick Douglass and the Visual Arts in Washington, D.C.” (Ranger Dr. Ka’mal McClarin, Curator – Frederick Douglass National Historic Site)

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Walking tour completed in roller skates; special thanks to Old Jackson Street Douglassonian Honorable Akili West & Monsignor Father Raymond East of Saint Teresa of Avila in the parish of Old Anacostia

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Mr. West of Old Jackson Street speaks with tour goers.

Last weekend our third tour in partnership with the Smithsonian Associates was enjoyed by nearly thirty attendees and a young lady breaking in a new pair of roller skates highlighted a second tour kindly welcomed by a young man known from the corner to the world as an ambassador and diplomat for his neighborhood and his native Washington City,

Before joining the 9:00 AM group I was able to sit in on enough of the early service of St. Teresa of Avila to be asked to offer customary remarks as a visitor.

When asked to speak I rose and shared I was not a first-time visitor but had been negligent in my faith, having not attended worship services in many years.

Giving thanks for the generous community support of Father East over the years of my Douglassonian historical activities and tours, I briefly gave congratulations to Father East, the parishioners of St. Teresa and the entire Washington Interfaith Network for the recent ribbon-cutting at the Parkway Overlook, a housing redevelopment supported by faith communities across the city. Father East kindly acknowledged my Douglassonian activities throughout the community in return.

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Courtesy of Ayanna Smith.

After offering an offertory, I was drafted to participate in the service by elders guarding the rear of the church, to which I complied.

It was a special and memorable experience to which I thank Father East, the Sisters of Charity and the entire St. Teresa community for all the work they do in service ministry and fellowship for Old Anacostia and across Washington City.

On the day’s later tour a young woman braved the front steps of the Douglass home, the descending driveway and the neighborhood streets in roller skates. (I’ve had folks complete the walking tour with aid of hiking poles and scooters you see at the grocery store before but it was a first for roller skates!)

To conclude the day’s travels and adventures in local history Honorable Akili West of Old Jackson Street kindly took time to speak with members of the tour about his neighborhood and his historic family home.

Lastly we’d like to thank all the Park Rangers and staff of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site for the work they do 7 days a week to make the grounds and home a sacred place and destination for people of all walks of life in Old Anacostia, Washington City and the entire country.

Hope to see you on a future tour.

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