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Black Women in the World of Frederick Douglass – Henrietta Vinton Davis recites Shakespeare at Cedar Hill [April 1883]

As we proceed to uplift the fallen history of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass and the legion of radical black women within his intricate network we continue to dismantle the dangerous “White Women Lies” Prof. Leigh Fought has advanced unchallenged within the academy since the publication of her consequential book last year.

Numerous radical black women educators, such as Dr. Georgiana R. Simpson, trusted and looked to Dr. Douglass as a father figure since their early childhoods. In recognizing the true legacy we will not allow this sacred history to be distorted and ignored by alleged “experts.” Despite these leading scholars being largely devoid of original scholarship their lies are promoted and awarded.

Leigh Fought has knowingly or subconsciously dangerously minimized and lied on women who knew Dr. Douglass for nearly a half-century.

Coming up in our own time we ran with our own legion of radical black women. Now grown, more than a couple of these women have granted me permission to set the record straight once and forever.

On W Street in Old Anacostia there are radical white women who fire off emails to elected officials and city agencies, following the Douglassonian tradition of agitating the city for an improvement of services within the neighborhood.

On W Street in Old Anacostia there are more than a couple radical black women who keep their door open for generations of returning citizens who accumulatively have served centuries.

There is an unknown history of radical black women coming through W Street, formerly Jefferson Street, in Old Anacostia that Prof. Leigh Fought completely ignores in her book despite my efforts to forewarn her.

Since Le Moyne College Professor Leigh Fought found it in her to reach we will now teach.


Dr. Douglass is a Shakespearean figure in American history and in his own life and times Dr. Douglass was a Shakespearean. On at least two occasions Douglass participated in readings with the Uniontown Shakespeare Club, first introduced to the public record by scholar Phil Foner.

A fugitive slave-scholar Dr. Douglass could hold street corners with the same ease he could hold the public stage. A common lie within Douglassoniana Studies and a common public misconception is that Dr. Douglass became isolated as he aged and was reluctant to use his influence to uplift others.

Wrong. White Man Lies. White Woman Lies.

As America’s Pharaoh Dr. Douglass was known for his cultural discernment and promotion of the arts. As many of us do when struck by tragedy we turn to the arts.

In April 1883, less than a year after the passing of Anna Douglass and less than a year before his marriage to Helen Pitts, Dr. Douglass held a small gathering at Cedar Hill for a young actress on the eve of her grand introduction to Washington society.

As a radical agitator Dr. Douglass influenced legion of radical black women. These women, such as Henrietta Vinton Davis, used the teachings of Dr. Douglass to continue their radical agitation for many generations henceforth. For example, Davis is well known to many Garveyites as a close confidant of Marcus Garvey.

For genteel white women such as Leigh Fought the associations Dr. Douglass had with radical black women, other than the default Ida B. Wells, may be difficult to understand. We understand but others may not be as kind.

Without further delay we provide a small newspaper item which shows Dr. Douglass to be an early radical promoter of the nascent Black arts movement.


 

Reception to Miss Henrietta Vinton Davis

Hon. Frederick Douglass invited a few friends last evening to his residence in Uniontown to meet Henrietta Vinton Davis, the young colored lady who is to make her debut in dramatic recitals on Wednesday evening, 25th instant, at Marini’s Hall.

Miss Davis recited very effectively scenes from “Romeo and Juliet,” “As You Like It,” “Brier Rose” (a poem of great dramatic power by Bjornson), “Awfully Lovely Philosophy” and “Dancing at the Flat Creek Quarters.” Mr. Douglass, than whom there is no better judge, made a speech of congratulation, and predicted a successful future for Miss Davis.

Miss Marquerite E. Saxton, the preceptress of Miss Davis, upon a request from Mr. Douglass, gave a scene from “Macbeth,” and recited “Drifting.” Miss Saxton is so well and favorably known that the appearance of her pupil will be one of the events of the season.


SOURCE:

Evening Critic, 24 April 1883

* Special acknowledgement to Davon Wright aka Aquafina Boo-Boo, our dear friend and radical black actress known throughout Washington City theatre communities.

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Quilt at Frederick Douglass National Historic Site provides youthful perspective on Dr. Douglass and Cedar Hill

FDNHS quilt -- wholeFDNHS quilt -- cedar hillFDNHS quilt -- different locationsFDNHS quilt -- FDFDNHS quilt -- agitate

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Benjamin Banneker and the DC Boundary Stones [Nov. 3 @1pm -> Benjamin Banneker Park & Museum in Oella, Maryland]

Benjamin Banneker and the DC Boundary StonesMSS member and professional land surveyor, Chas Langelan, will do a one-hour talk on Early Surveying, the Original Survey of Washington, and the DC Boundary Stones. Langelan practiced more than 40 years in Maryland and the District of Columbia, running busy survey offices in Rockville and on Capitol Hill before retiring in 2008. He’s been president of both the Maryland and DC professional organizations for land surveyors. In 1992 Chas and his staff unearthed one of the missing DC boundary stones – SE 8 in Annacostia – which had been lost for decades after being buried 5 feet deep. He will be dressed in colonial garb with antique instruments, etc.

Local journalist and historian, John Muller, will cover the second hour with a talk that places Benjamin Banneker as the most consequential figure in the scientific and astronomical accomplishment of the survey of the District of Columbia. Muller will offer a research-based history which runs counter to a popular mythology which has minimized and marginalized Banneker’s importance to American history for generations of school-aged children. Muller has written for the Washington Times, Capital Community News, Greater Greater Washington, Washington Informer, DCist, Washington City Paper and the Washington Post. He is a frequent commentator on history and current affairs for local radio and print media.

ABOUT BENJAMIN BANNEKER PARK & MUSEUM

Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum is a 142-acre site dedicated to telling the inspiring story of the life and times of Benjamin Banneker, often considered the first African-American man of science. The museum’s exhibits chronicle Banneker’s contributions as a largely self-taught mathematician, astronomer, almanac writer, surveyor, abolition advocate and naturalist during the late 1700s. It was from this site that Banneker crafted one of the first all-American-made wooden clocks and wrote his almanacs and famous correspondence with Thomas Jefferson. In 1791, Banneker was assigned to the Pierre L’Enfant team to survey for the new federal city, Washington D.C.

Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum has something for everyone whether their interest is history, astronomy, cultural activities, hiking or nature and conservation. The Banneker Historical Park and Museum preserves the cultural and natural history of the colonial era by offering special programs in colonial history and extensive environmental conservation, particularly for American native plants.

The Banneker Museum interior.

The split log colonial cabin is furnished with reproduced artifacts like those Banneker could have used. Visit the colonial herb garden, vegetable garden and Banneker Orchard.

Many trails can be found on site, including conservation paths and the historic Number 9 Trolley Line Trail. The museum presents changing exhibitions in history, art, culture and science, and a permanent exhibit on the life of Benjamin Banneker. In addition to the museum, the park also features a newly restored 19th-century farmhouse.


For more information please register HERE!

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Anacostia AMP Youth Sports Association keeps alive Douglassonian tradition of uplifting next generation of youngsters

Frederick Douglass & HillsdaleYesterday I had opportunity to attend a practice of the Anacostia Steelers in Anacostia Park. While walking to the pool I came across artwork recognizing the connection between Dr. Frederick Douglass and the communities of Hillsdale and Barry Farm.

While in Washington City the Douglass family invested in the uplifting of local children and their families through education, employment, political activism and participation and even sports.

Coach Tony of the Anacostia Steelers and Ms. Paige of the Anacostia AMP Youth Sports Association, and all of their support coaches, volunteers and parents are keeping the Douglassonian tradition of uplifting the next generation of youngsters alive.

For more information please “LIKE” the Facebook page for the Anacostia Steelers and the Anacostia AMP Outreach & Empowerment Center.

Full article forthcoming …


Ana Steelers -- huddle up

Ana Steelers -- offense versus defense

Ana Steelers -- sun set

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Hurlbut-Walker Memorial Research Forum presentation on “The First Ladies of Education” [Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, Thurs., August 16, 2018, 6:30pm]


Our last Hurlbut-Walker Memorial Research Forum for summer 2018 is on

Thursday, August 16 at 6:30pm. 

Join Dr. DeWitt S. Williams in a discussion about three African-American women who were among the first to earn a Ph.D. in the United States.

This event is Free and Open to the Public. 

A light reception will follow the dynamic discussion.

RSVP via phone: 202-730-0479  or email: info.sumnerschool@dc.gov

The Hurlbut-Walker Memorial Research Forum is an annual event that highlights the work developed by public researchers who have accessed the Sumner Museum Archives and honors the life and legacy of Richard Hurlbut and James Walker.

For more information about this series and the Sumner Museum, please e-mail us at info.sumnerschool@dc.gov

 

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The Talbot Spy: Where the Journey Ended: Frederick Douglass in Anacostia


Thank you Dave Wheelan of the Talbot Spy for keeping the tradition of journalists visiting Cedar Hill alive and well in the year of the Douglass Bicentennial.

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People’s Book Review: David Blight – Frederick Douglass — pt. 2

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