Posts Tagged community buildings
Rochester City School District: Rename School 12 for Frederick and Anna Douglass. Upraise Anna Douglass, a woman as determined and committed to the cause as her husband.
In America today efforts abound to uplift fallen history and correct misleading mythology.
Just as genuflecting on Lincoln, Twain, Washington and others is commonplace, and in the wrong hands can be destructive, the tendency to hero-worship Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass can have its shortcomings.
Acknowledging, recognizing and raising up Dr. Douglass is of vital import. However, in lifting up Dr. Douglass we must also elevate all those who “made” his public life possible.
Anna Murray, a childhood associate of Dr. Douglass within the black community of the Eastern Shore, must also be upraised.
Time is now. It is due time to tell it and tell it right.
The recent scholarship of Dr. Leigh Fought, Women in the World of Frederick Douglass, has advanced an understanding of Anna Douglass, a woman as determined and committed to the cause as her husband, as well as equally complex.
In moving to rename School 12 for Dr. Frederick Douglass, we humbly suggest you recognize Anna Douglass, a patroness saint, radical abolitionist, friend, wife, mother and grandmother.
We dare speculate Dr. Douglass would insist on his first wife’s name joining him in the adornment of a public school in his adopted city of Rochester and we understand living descendants think it would be fittingly honorific, proper, respectful and historic.
Justin Murphy, @citizenmurphy
Frederick Douglass may reap yet another honor in his bicentennial celebration, as the Rochester City School District is considering renaming James P.B. Duffy School 12 after him.
The school, across from Highland Hospital on South Avenue, stands on the site of the house where Douglass lived for most of his time in Rochester. That house burned to the ground in 1872, a suspected arson.
There was, until several years ago, a Frederick Douglass Junior High School on Fernwood Park in northeast Rochester. The building, still referred to as the Douglass campus, now houses Northeast/Northwest College Prep.
There is also a program for very vulnerable students called NorthSTAR, named after the newspaper that Douglass published in Rochester.
School 12 would not necessarily be called Frederick Douglass School 12, school board President Van White said. It could be some other name alluding to him or to his first wife, Anna Douglass, who was essential to the operation of their home as a station on the Underground Railroad.
“There are many people who went to that school who don’t know who James Duffy was,” White said. “The thought is to give the school some connection to Frederick Douglass because that’s obviously someone who people know.”
Duffy served on the city school board from 1905-32, then served one term in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 1935-37. He later was a state Supreme Court judge.
Duffy died in 1969. The school was renamed for him in 1972, just as it was being renovated.
White said a name change would also serve to help the school move on from the death of 14-year-old Trevyan Rowe, who ran away from the school after getting off the bus one morning in March and ended up drowning in the Genesee River.
“This is a year of transition for that school, and I think it could probably use an opportunity to talk about a different, more positive future, given what happened to Trevyan,” he said. “Not a new beginning, but a change.”
Jennifer Gkourlias, who had been principal until going on leave in January, has decided to resign rather than return. Vicki Gouveia, the current acting principal, will remain there until a permanent replacement can be found, White said.
The school board will have a public forum to discuss the renaming question at 6 p.m. Monday, May 21. White said the board hopes to act on the renaming in time for the 2018-19 school year.
Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Community Conference on Saturday, December 9th at DC Prep’s newly opened Anacostia Elementary Campus, in the old St. Teresa School at 1409 V Street SE.
DC Prep has generously donated space, from 9am – 4pm, to convene a gathering of local and regional Douglassonians in preparation for the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial, which is planned to take place across multiple countries, states, cities and towns throughout 2018.
Despite the recent passing of legislation to create an official government commission very little has been organized and there has been no gathering of Douglassonians — open to the community and general public — in Washington, D.C. in nearly two decades.
The last efforts were led by Dr. Frank Fargasso and Howard University.
Time is running out for Mr. Douglass to get the organized recognition and community collaboration he so righteously and properly deserves.
Funds will be used to support the good folks who are taking their time to present and share the expertise with the the community, food and drink, printing costs and other incidentals.
The figure of $1818 represents the year of the birth of one of the greatest native sons of the United States of America, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey.
All funds will be used to support the FREE community conference for Anacostians and Douglassonians worldwide.
Douglass and Stanton Dwellings may be long gome but this relic of the past remains.
“This is shameful. Even in plain sight, hundreds of cars and people pass here every day, Fred is forgotten. They give out food in the back to people but don’t even have the decency to pick up their boxes. Well, nothing new. Oh, wait, it’s a new day in Ward 8. Haven’t you heard?” – William Alston-El, November 9, 2014
The legacy of John W. Blassingame has been all but forgotten.