Archive for July, 2020

VIDEO: “Historic Anacostia Walking Tour with Historian John Muller” by Enora Moss & the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge


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A Historic Note: Frederick Douglass as a Founding Father of Black Lives Matter

IllustrationHonorable Frederick (Bailey) Douglass is a Founding Father of the present-day Black Lives Matter Movement, as well the historic Civil Rights Movement.

America’s world famous native runaway confirmed by the United States Senate United States Marshal of the District of Columbia.

The Bible has stories more believable.

Let no misguided child ever forget from whence they come and the lives lost before today.

Every since the murder of Demby on the Great House Farm of Governor Edward Lloyd V of Maryland’s Talbot County the spirit of Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey has manifested itself throughout the nearest and furthest corners of the known world to advocate for equality of human and civil rights of peoples of all nationalities.

To Dr. Douglass, Black Lives Matter.
As well, Irish Independence Matters, Black Women Matter, Black Education Matters, Industrial Education Matters, Black Church Matters, Black Orphanages Matter, Black Patronage Matters, Black Press Matters, Respect of Elders Matters.

Any discussion of Black Lives Matter without contemplative consideration and sincere reflection of the legacy and life of Honorable Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass is uninformed, irresponsible and reckless.

The generations in today’s streets must know and study the names of Demby, Elijah Parish Lovejoy, Charles Van Loon, Heyward Shepherd, John Anthony Copeland Jr., Shields Green, John Brown, Octavius Valentine Catto, Colfax massacre, Reuben Foster, George Junius Stinney, Jr., Emmett Louis Till, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Dr. King, Latasha Harlins, Robert “Yummy” Sandifer, Charnice Avia Milton, Anton Black and libraries and archives across generations and geography to understand the depth of the rumble in which we are engaged.

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*July 3, 2020* Douglassonians, Washingtonians and Families Take Back Lincoln Park -> Nathan M. Richardson as Frederick Douglass delivers “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” (1852)

Nathan M. Richardson as Hon. Frederick Douglass in Lincoln Park, June 26, 2020. Photo Bruce Guthrie.

Nathan M. Richardson as Hon. Frederick Douglass; Lincoln Park in Washington City, June 26, 2020. Photo Bruce Guthrie.


July 1,  2020


John Muller: 202.236.3413 /

Co-organizer; author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia (2012)

Nathan M. Richardson: 757.535.1505 /

Educator, retired United States veteran, Hon. Frederick Douglass reenactor 

Kenneth B. Morris:

Educator, grandson of Booker T. Washington & Frederick Douglass

Denise Rolark Barnes:

Publisher of The Washington Informer; Washington Informer Charities


Nathan M. Richardson


Hon. Frederick Douglass

 “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” (1852)

 Douglassonians, Washingtonians and Historians Take Back Lincoln Park

 Friday, July 3, 2020

6:30PM – 8PM

Lincoln Park (Emancipation Park)


11th & East Capitol Street

After saving the Freedmen’s Monument from threat of being “burned” last Friday by a foul-mouthed Harvard underclassman, Nathan M. Richardson will return to Lincoln Park this Friday evening, July 3, 2020 as Frederick Douglass to deliver excerpts of “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” (1852)

To continue to demonstrate in respectful solidarity and recognition of the history of Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C. members of near and far Douglassonian communities are called to assemble for another emergency and necessary community dialogue. Members of local, national, regional and international organizations have been invited and are expected to speak; all respectful speakers are welcome, including students and seniors. Use of appropriate language is expected on behalf of community elders and children; proper language will be enforced by Douglass Honor Guard.

The history of Frederick Douglass & Abraham Lincoln will be shared, including the meetings of Douglass and Lincoln in 1863 and 1864 in the White House, their interaction in March 1865 during President Lincoln’s second inauguration, stories of the friendship of Frederick Douglass and Elizabeth Keckley, excerpts of Frederick Douglass’s 1876 speech at the unveiling of the Freedmen’s Monument and the friendship of Douglass and Robert Todd Lincoln.


 Nathan M. Richardson is a published author, performance poet and Douglass Historian.  His poetry collections include “Likeness of Being”, “Twenty-one Imaginary T-shirts” and “Voices from the Wombs of Wisdom.”  His work has been widely re-published in anthologies, magazines and newspapers such as the Channel Marker, The Cupola, Coastal Virginia Magazine and the Washington Post. Nathan teaches a variety of workshops for emerging writers. He is now in the 6th year of The Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour a living history performance in which he captures completely the physical and spiritual essence of the former slave, writer, orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. This living history series has produced film credits with the National Park  Service and Alabama Public Television.

You can find more about Nathan Richardson and his work at

Moment of silence for Elijah McClain (1996 – 2019), a Douglassonian violinist

and all those who have lost their lives across generations and geography before their time

Charnice Milton (1987 – 2015) of Capital Community News

Community historic reflection will follow moment of silence for Dr. Hari Jones (1958 – 2018)

Raymond Maxwell will lead a Douglassonian Poetry Reading; community members will be invited to participate in read-ins from works of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Robert Hayden & co.

John O’Brien, President; Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia, will offer remarks.

Note on Honorable Frederick Douglass; A Founding Father of Black Lives Matter

John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia (2012)





Frederick Douglass & Abraham Lincoln Honor Guard

Goal of $2,020

 Supported by Washington Informer Charities


Donations will support costs associated with printing programs & flyers, reimbursing speakers for their travel and time, securing support provisions such as water, face masks, hand sanitizer and other hospitality items .

All funds raised will be used to support the family-friendly event.

Donations are 100% tax deductible.


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EXCLUSIVE: “Frederick Douglass’ descendant says Emancipation Memorial should stand” (WTTG – Fox 5 DC; June 30, 2020)

In an exclusive interview Tuesday, the descendant of Booker T. Washington and great-great-great-grandson to Frederick Douglass tells FOX 5 he believes the Emancipation Memorial, depicting President Abraham Lincoln standing over a shirtless and kneeling formerly enslaved man, should stay.

Kenneth B. Morris Jr. says his wanting to keep the statue in place has to do with the history around it, which includes who paid for it — and the important speech his great-great-great-grandfather Frederick Douglass gave at the unveiling of the statue.

FOX 5 continues to examine the “Race to Equality,” and has been covering the controversy now surrounding the D.C. statue.

On June 25, the National Park Service erected fencing and barriers around the Emancipation Memorial and one other statue located several feet away from it in Lincoln Park. Nationwide, protesters have targeted, and in some cases, toppled statues found to be offensive.

To be clear, Morris believes all Confederate monuments should be removed.

“I don’t put this statue in the same category as Confederate monuments that were put up in the early 19th century as badges of servitude, badges of white supremacy,” he said in a Zoom interview from the West Coast.

The statue was paid for by formerly enslaved people and sits in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Southeast. It depicts a clothed Abraham Lincoln standing with a hand over a kneeling freed slave. The other hand is holding the Emancipation Proclamation.

“The enslaved man who is depicted in the statue is holding up his fist and he’s breaking chains and he’s looking strong. But what also, unfortunately, is depicted in the statue, is that Abraham Lincoln is a dominant white man standing over this enslaved person,” said Jane Levey, a Historian with the Historical Society of Washington D.C tells FOX 5.

“The history behind it is simple and it’s complicated. The simple version is that a formerly enslaved woman in Ohio gave $5 to her former master, her former owner, and asked that it be put towards a monument to Abraham Lincoln. That supported the simple story that got in the newspapers and that caused a lot of people to give money,” said Levey, who tells FOX 5 the more complicated part of that story involves formerly enslaved people seeing a monument to Abraham Lincoln as their way of expressing their joining of white American society during the time of Reconstruction.

The other part of the statue’s history includes its commencement on the 11th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination.

Morris says in 1876, Frederick Douglass gave one of his most important speeches during his keynote address at the statue unveiling, which happened in front of over 20,000 people and President Ulysses S. Grant.

“He talked about President Lincoln’s failings, he talked about how he was slow to move toward emancipation and he understood that there were issues-problems with that statue. I believe he knew that there would be some criticism,” said Morris.

In that speech, which you can read on the Digital Public Library of America website, Douglass challenged Lincoln’s legacy, noting he was more determined to save the Union, than free enslaved people.

As previously reported, Douglass says in one part: “… truth compels me to admit, even here in the presence of the monument we have erected to his memory, Abraham Lincoln was not in the fullest sense of the word, either our man or our model.” He goes on to call Lincoln a “white man’s President.”

“He could’ve said, ‘I’m not going to speak because this statue, I don’t agree with it, I don’t think it’s a good representation of people of African descent in this country.’ But he also understood, he was strategic, and he understood he had an opportunity to speak to power structure, those who were in power,” said Morris, who added, “And it would be many, many years later, not until the election of President Barack Obama that a Black man of this country would have the platform that Frederick Douglass had that day.”

DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a bill to remove the statue.

The one statue of an African American woman is located in the same park but several feet away from the Freedman’s Memorial: the Mary McLeod Bethune statue, honoring an educator and presidential advisor.

Morris, who says he has worked with Holmes Norton on several projects honoring the Abolitionist Frederick Douglass before, has not talked with any D.C. officials yet on his thoughts about the statue yet.

He tells FOX 5 he would like to see another statue or something added alongside it that would tell the story how Black people in America liberated themselves.

“When we look back at the history of this country, Black people self-liberated themselves and that’s not a story that has been told properly,” said Morris.

While at Lincoln Park on Tuesday, FOX 5 also spoke with Don Folden who runs “Capital Buddy Tours.” Folden gives walking tours (and digital tours) of Black history throughout D.C. The Emancipation Memorial at Lincoln Park is one of his stops.

Folden told FOX 5 the statue should remain, and be turned back toward the U.S. Capitol’s Freedom Statue. Folden says the “Freedman’s Memorial” was turned when the Mary McLeod Bethune Statue was completed so it did not look as though the statue was facing Lincoln’s back.

“And that’s just not any statue of a Black man,” Folden said passionately, “That’s Archer Alexander, the last slave captured under the Fugitive Slave Act, which means he’s the first Black man in the world to have a statue in America. But you want to tear that down? Turn it back to its original position, so it’s facing freedom.”


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