Search Results for: friendless

Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass, friend to the friendless street children of Washington City because he was once friendless in the streets of antebellum Fell’s Point, Baltimore Towne

Circulation of the street news of the passing of Honorable Frederick (Bailey) Douglass the evening of February 20, 1895 hit the hearts, minds and souls of Black American newspaper boys with lifelong lasting impact and repercussions.

Oral histories and records confirm upon Crosby Noyes conversating with a crestfallen integrated group of newsies, advocacy of Washington’s Black citizens and admiration of Evening Star editors a special commemorative edition of the paper was printed to recognize the life of Frederick Douglass and his tireless contributions to Washington City and his country from local corners to the world’s greatest stages as an honored guest of legislative, presidential and diplomatic heads of states for a half-century.

Upon distribution of the special edition white newspaper boys reportedly gave their special copies to their fellow Black American brothers-in-news satchels to vend out of a measure of respect for their mutual friend.

Historians have uniformly ignored questions of with whom and how Dr. Douglass carried himself on the corners.

Coming up mentored by an intricate collective of Black American Revolutionary War Patriots on the Tuckahoe and Black American Defenders of Baltimore in a pre-Industrial age Dr. Douglass knew what it is running the streets from his own days of running the streets.

During annual Emancipation Day parades Dr. Douglass was known to walk among the junior cadets and drum corps, knowing many of the young participant’s parents and grand-parents.

Having never attended a formal day of school in his life Dr. Douglass knew the first generation of Black American founders and presidents of universities and institutions of higher learning since they were kids.

Evening Star_1886 _ FD lecture Free Night Schools-page-001

Copyright of research strictly enforced by the United States Copyright Office; Library of Congress. Authority of Old Anacostia Douglassonians.

Today the legacy and lessons of Dr. Douglass abide to the school children in every school house in America and throughout classrooms of freedom-loving peoples of the civilized world.

Dr. Douglass continues to reach and teach the children across geography and nationality.

Why and how is this?

It was said of Dr. Douglass there was no better friend to the orphan and the friendless. With regularity and deliberateness Dr. Douglass lectured to benefit night schools, alms hours, orphanages, churches, community centers, relief funds, camp meetings and all manners of charitable efforts organized and led by Black Americans.   

Although now known and venerated with statues the world over, Frederick Bailey was once a friendless youngblood adolescent whom Black American Revolutionary War Patriots, AME ministers, Justices of the Peace, Point Boys and the Black Defenders of Baltimore especially looked out for and protected.  

During his sojourns on foot throughout Washington Dr. Douglass returned the benevolence he received from the streets to the streets. 

More than a century later these streets guard, preserve and recognize the lost history quiet as kept.

If you don’t know come down to the streets of indigenous Douglassonian communities and ask somebody as we have. 

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Frederick Douglass gives lecture for “benefit of a home for friendless women and girls” [Evening Star, 23 April, 1878, p. 4]

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Marshal Frederick Douglass delivered an address last evening at the opening of the national bazaar at the Kindergarten hall for benefit of a home for friendless women and girls.

SOURCE:

“Condensed Locals,” Evening Star, 23 April, 1878, p. 4

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Lecture by Hon. Frederick Douglass “In Aid of Free Night Schools” at Washington City in same church where Howard University was founded.

Evening Star_1886 _ FD lecture Free Night Schools-page-001

Copyright of research strictly enforced. Authority of Old Anacostia Douglassonians.

Dr. Frederick Douglass ran with the lost Gods of history. From fugitive slaves to American Presidents to starving Irish peasants to foreign heads of state Dr. Douglass commanded respect and supreme authority wherever and whenever he stepped.

Among the “paradigms” of intersectionality in which historians with no history attempt to place Dr. Douglass they fail to comprehend and understand something simple and basic: Dr. Douglass was a friend to the friendless.

Evident throughout his entire life Dr. Douglass gave back to the cause which raised him.

When I first began investigating the local legacy of Dr. Douglass community members in Old Anacostia asked, suggested and demanded I tell the untold story of his giving back to the community. I heard many an oral history, some I have now forgot, of Dr. Douglass looking out for young folk and families of the community. One of the more interesting stories I heard was from an older lady who told me her grandmother attended a local church where Dr. Douglass was known to occasionally teach Sunday school. The older lady, who I would speak to during walks in the neighborhood with my dear friend Anthony Moore, told me her grandmother and classmates would get together as adults and talk about their friend and former teacher.

As a teenager Dr. Douglass taught slaves to read. Without equivocation the established archival record and oral histories confirm Dr. Douglass was respected as an educator and friend to the friendless within his community for more than 60 years. Dr. Douglass never forgot the forgotten.

Heretofore henceforth whereas therein speculative scholarship is a dangerous and racist distortion of the truth of the life of Dr. Douglass. You know, we know who you are.

The Western Academy has betrayed Dr. Douglass. Modern American historians have near uniformly disgraced themselves and their profession with the incredible absence of original scholarship on Dr. Douglass.

The history of Dr. Douglass is in you and your community. The community of Old Anacostia has authorized me to uplift the fallen history and legacy of Dr. Douglass across all nations and languages.

Truth will set us all free.


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Congregational Church, where Howard University was founded, at 10th & G Streets NW. Photo Washingtoniana, DC Public Library/

Living in Washington City for a quarter-century Dr. Douglass was known as equally in the press galleries of the House and Senate and offices of the Executive Mansion as he was on street corners, church pulpits and classrooms of Howard University.

That Dr. Douglass commanded supreme respect wherever he walked was not due his fame nor his past but due his assistance to his community in the present.

Knowing vapid academics have stolen my research before and will continue to do so we are selective in our disclosure of sources but it is sometimes extra necessary to demonstrate from whence Dr. Douglass comes to counter and correct the dominating lies and untruths.

In 1886 Dr. Douglass gave a lecture “In Aid to Free Night Schools” at the same church where Howard University was conceived.

We briefly share this anecdote to honor Valerie Ashley and all her staff and students at Southeast Ministry, all staff and students at Ballou STAY, Roosevelt Stay, Academy of HopeWashington Literacy Council and all the organizations in Washington City uplifting humanity and community.

It is through the work of these organizations the legacy of Dr. Douglass remains alive and well.

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Open Letter to Prof. David Blight: It’s not about you. It’s about the next generation of youngsters, those whose birthright is to know the Douglassonian tradition is theirs to inherit.

FDNHS_Neighborhood Children on Cedar Hill front porch _ March 2012

Young W Street Douglassonians on front porch of Cedar Hill

Prof. David W. Blight
Department of History
Yale University
320 York Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8324

My name is John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia (The History Press, 2012) which needs to be properly mentioned during your upcoming talks as the only existing book detailing Mr. Douglass’ largely unknown years in Washington City.

You know who I am.

When I first embarked upon writing my book in late 2011 I heard from many people you were at work on a biography on Mr. Douglass, which has still not been published all these years later. As a dutiful local historian and street reporter I sent you an email or two or three, along with a call, to let you know who I was and what I was endeavoring to do. I have the receipts.

As I moved forward with my research you were not particularly helpful or supportive of a young Douglassonian scholar. Other academics and “Douglass experts” were welcoming, helpful and offered assistance when I was trying to work through questions I had during the research process. The more I studied Mr. Douglass closely the more I realized how much of an abject mediocre scholar you are and which you remain today.

Mr. Douglass was for the youngsters, his whole life. He played baseball with neighborhood children at Cedar Hill. Students from Howard University were always welcome at Cedar Hill. You are a betrayal and disgrace to this Douglassonian tradition.

I told you I would catch you. I did.

At the unveiling of the Frederick Douglass statue at Emancipation Hall on July 19, 2013 I ran up on you. I told you, “I’m John Muller. You know who I am.”

You responded defensively that you’d read my book and offered it was “well written” or something such as that. I told you my interest was not your opinion of my book but your displaying a respect for the community of Anacostia, a place where the spirit and history of Mr. Douglass can be felt in the air at any time of the day, any day and any season of the year.

I invited you to attend my book talk at the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book happening the next day, July 20, 2013. You did not attend.

Additionally, I invited you to take one of my neighborhood walking tours of Anacostia while in town or during any of your subsequent visits to Washington City. To date you have never taken the walking tour. Other “Douglass scholars” have. They understand. You do not now nor have ever understood who Mr. Douglass was and is to Old Ana.

Since I am a self-taught 16th & W Street SE scholar you may continue to think you can dismiss me personally and the Douglass scholarship I have advanced for the past five years — which is far above and beyond the work you have done on Douglass during your entire time at Yale — along with having a continued blatant inattention of the neighborhood and community which I have been appointed as an ambassador for.

Your demonstrative disrespect and disregard for my scholarship is of no consequence other than to shine light on your intellectual and scholarly dishonesty but, my dear Prof. Blight, you WILL NOT ignore the neighborhood of Old Anacostia and the self-made and self-taught Douglassonian scholars who hold down the corners along 16th Street SE and W Street SE.

The men of Old Anacostia know more about Douglass and what his life means to the human condition than you, an intellectually dishonest, manipulative and selfish old white man could ever understand in 200 lifetimes, let alone 200 years.

The young men and elders of 16th Street SE respect, admire and honor Mr. Frederick Douglass as their neighbor and friend. Many men and women had their elementary school graduations at Cedar Hill. The history of Cedar Hill is the history of a neighborhood and its inhabitants protecting, guarding and preserving Mr. Douglass’ memory for generations so now people like you can safely genuflect and speculate. Understand that, sir.

As you are an alleged “Douglass expert,” whose career has been almost exclusively built as a white, European man discussing race and the history of black folk in this country it’s the least you could do to offer respect for the Asiatic community of Old Anacostia. But you show no respect. You are only about yourself and those within the Ivory Tower institutions who for decades have patted you on the back.

You show yourself to be a disgrace to the Douglassonian tradition at every turn and every word.

This past Wednesday, February 7, 2018, you spoke in Baltimore at the Maryland Historical Society. There were representatives from the Office of Governor Larry Hogan in attendance along with other luminaries.

When given this platform to discuss Mr. Douglass you peddled in your usual speculative history. More importantly, you did not acknowledge many things occurring around the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial you should have. It is not all about you, Prof. Blight. It’s about the heritage and legacy of Mr. Douglass and the younger generation.

The Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives is involved in ongoing effort to raise up One Million Abolitionists by distributing 1,000,000 special edition copies of The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave to school-aged children throughout the country.

You did not mention this important effort to your rapt audience. You did not mention members of the Douglass-Bailey family. You did not acknowledge anyone or anything other than yourself and your own perceived authority on Mr. Douglass.

It is not about you, sir. It is not about me. It is about honoring Mr. Douglass and passing on his legacy to the next generation.

As a youngster growing up in Maryland I read Narrative in junior high school. I had a poster of Mr. D on my wall throughout high school. When I began working for the UPO nearly a decade ago in the neighborhood where Cedar Hill is located I always thought there was a reason God deployed me to W Street SE.

In Baltimore, on W Street SE, in Rochester, in Talbot County, in Savannah, Georgia, at Howard University and anywhere and everywhere from the Tuckahoe to Paris to Egypt where the name Frederick Douglass rings the bells of the Gods of not only American History but the history of civilization you will understand it is about the younger generation. It is about liberation of mind, body and soul. It is about uplifting fallen humanity.

Don’t you ever say “Freddy D” out your mouth ever again, whether in private or in public in front of an audience of primarily aged Europeans.

You do not have that right and I am letting you know you do not have that right with the full force of all the founding members of 16th & W Street SE Douglassonians.

We have never seen you come around the way. Never.

As a history professor at one of the world’s most prestigious universities I invite you to come to the corner and have a discussion. Try to teach your speculative Douglass history and you will be taught what Mr. Douglass truly means to people in a way you can never understand.

You do not own Mr. Douglass and his memory. Nor do I. No one does. Mr. Douglass lived his life to uplift all of fallen humanity. Mr. D was a friend to the friendless.

For thirty years you have exerted unearned power and control over the history of Frederick Douglass in not just this country but the world. Many, many elite institutions are guilty of elevating your mediocrity to the level of honor, including Washington College.

You sir, are no honor to Douglass. You are a disgrace.

The point of this letter is to kindly suggest you mention the One Million Abolitionists project moving forward, especially during your appearance at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site on the weekend of February 17 and February 18.

If you believe your self to be a Douglass scholar I’d kindly suggest you use the opportunities you’ve been given to uplift Douglass to the younger generation and the average man and woman in the community.

In conclusion, this is not about you. It’s about uplifting and liberating the next generation of youngsters, those whose birthright is to know the Douglassonian tradition is theirs to inherit.

Respectfully,
John Muller
Co-Founder, 16th & W Street Douglassonians

1400 block of W Street SE
Old Anacostia
Washington, D.C.

 

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Case for Speculations: David Blight is an intellectual disgrace to Douglassonian Biographers Frederic May Holland, James Monroe Gregory, Benjamin Quarles, Philip Foner, John Blassingame and Dickson J. Preston (Part 2)

No automatic alt text available.There is a Hall of Fame of Douglassonian Biographers.

In order of appearance: Frederic May Holland, James Monroe Gregory, Benjamin Quarles, Philip Foner, John Blassingame and Dickson J. Preston.

(ED Note: Leigh Fought is not eligible as her years as a Douglassonian are still active. The Kendricks would be inducted as a father-son duo of Douglassonians.)

Absent from this short list is David Blight of Yale University, one of the most overrated Civil War historians of the last generation.

Douglassonians are thorough-headed scholars of FD’s network as a connecting line throughout his entire life, from connections running the neighborhood streets of Fells Point to local petitioners who approached him while he walked the muddy streets of Old Anacostia, a locally respected and internationally known statesman for the friendless.

Blight is not a Douglassonian. Blight’s presentations on Douglass are restrictive and dated, just as is his scholarship.

Blight’s book published nearly thirty years ago in 1989 was an outgrowth of his 1985 dissertation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the same institution attended by another over-rated old American white man and alleged “Douglass Scholar.” The book is by Blight’s own admission “juvenile writing.” We agree.

Blight covers Douglass in the years leading to the Civil War and during the Civil War. It’s a book every Douglass scholar should have but not one that is of particular importance. It’s maybe a top 50 Douglass book, not better than that. There are around 100 real books about Douglass so Blight’s work by honest evaluation is a book in the middle, not bad, not particularly good. In reading of Blight’s book in preparation for writing my own book he gets a number of dates and facts related to the Douglass Reconstruction years in Washington City wrong.

David Blight, a 68-year old former high school history teacher from Flint, Michigan, has comfortably traveled the country and world for years without advancing any unique understanding or interpretation of Douglass beyond the metaphorical.

He views Douglass as a mythical metaphor.  He lauds Harvard professor John Stauffer, who has taken credit for research done by Zoe Trodd and Celeste-Marie Bernier and did some other jankey stuff with his inaccurately sub-titled co-authored book.

Blight calls William J. McFeely’s disturbing 1991 Douglass biography, “a very good book.”

Douglass is a neighborhood guy. This stable of current old American white men who are somehow lauded and labeled “Douglass experts” — Blight, Ira Berlin and John Stauffer [the youngest being born in 1965] — will never understand Douglass as Freddy Fred. Never. Never ever. All Douglass is to them is a method for them to reign unchallenged within their Ivory Towers of largely speculative scholarship.

Douglass is a benevolent spirit watching over all the intellectual curious children of the 1-6 and lost souls seeking shelter from the sub-zero temperatures in the abandominiums of Old Anacostia.

Douglass is not a past and distant myth and a convenient metaphor.

Real live. He’s got the biggest house in the ‘hood.

Case for Speculations (1): Imitating Douglass’ voice, cracked, high-pitched and subservient 

This is not history. It is bizarre pseudo-speculation and this old white man’s effort to imitate how he thinks Frederick Douglass would conduct himself in a meeting with President Abraham Lincoln. Bizarre on many levels.

A true historian, let alone a Douglassonian, would directly quote from source material. Blight does not. He offers an imitation of Douglass.

See, young scholar-soldiers, I came up 901 G. Where you might catch Anthony Pitch giving a presentation without a single inference, note of speculation, whiff of guesswork or hint of conjecture.

This non-historical pseudo-genuflecting drivel by Blight and other alleged “Douglass experts” is nothing any respectable W Street Douglassonian and self-respecting historian can and will ever respect.

Case for Speculations (2): “You can milk it for pages.

Blight demonstrates his appalling laziness as a speculative historian by professing that to a narrative-based biographer such as himself he jumps at the occasion to take any short cut he can find.

When looking through vertical files of old newspaper clippings that chronicle Douglass’ life and times, in real time, Blight admits when he finds a clipping he views the discovery as an opportunity to “milk it for pages.”

In his presentation to Harvard Law School he says this with exaggeration, emphasizing the point with a small rattle of his off-dominant lecture hand.

On W Street we don’t milk. We research. We respect the game. Otherwise they take you out.

I’m on mission to agitate, agitate, agitate and take out all of these alleged Douglass experts who are a disgrace to the limited and sacred Hall of Fame of Douglassonian Biographers.

Don’t tell me Blight is a Douglass expert because he is not. He is a speculative, mediocre Civil War historian.

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