Posts Tagged el barrio de Anacostia
Foreign Press comes through el barrio de Anacostia to show love to señor Douglass! La Vanguardia: “El esclavo que cumplió 200 años: Estados Unidos celebra el bicentenario del carismático líder abolicionista negro Frederick Douglass”
El nombre del señor Frederick Douglass toca las campanas de un vecindario a otro en todo el país. Desde Anacostia hasta Barcelona, el mundo reconoce la importancia de Douglass para los pueblos amantes de la libertad en todas partes.
Agradecemos a la señorita Beatriz Navarro del periódico La Vanguardia por su generoso informe sobre el cumpleaños número dos centenario del abolicionista reconocido internacionalmente y padre fundador del Movimiento por los Derechos Civiles de los Estados Unidos.
When Frederick August Washington Bailey came into the world, no one expected one day to celebrate his birthday. “Most of the slaves know as little of their age as the horses of theirs,” he would write years later in his autobiography. Two hundred years later, the United States pays tribute to one of its most important leaders, a slave who escaped his destiny to become a charismatic abolitionist leader, writer, speaker and civil rights activist and women in particular. He was photographed more than President Abraham Lincoln himself.
Reborn as Frederick Douglass, he chose his date of birth on February 14, because his mother, the few times he saw him, told him it was “his Valentine.” He was born a slave in Maryland in 1818 and raised with his maternal grandmother. At the age of eight, he was taken to work on a plantation and, later, in a shipyard in Baltimore, where he learned to read and write on his own. At age 20, he managed to escape using the papers of a black sailor to get on a train and go north, an adventure that was for a long time a secret so as not to harm those who helped him. His flight was due “more to good luck than to bravery,” he explained years later.
He adopted the surname Douglass, married a freed slave in New York, and settled in Massachusetts. There he began to frequent the circuit of abolitionist politicians, whom he impressed with his story of the horrors of slavery and his oratory skills. In 1845 he published the first of his three autobiographies, a best seller that made him fear being caught. He took refuge in England and Ireland, where he dealt with Daniel O’Connell, until two years later some followers bought his freedom for 150 pounds and returned to the US. as a free man.
Douglass immediately understood the power of the image and posed frequently for portraits, in which he presented himself as whites, elegantly dressed and in an attitude of work. It retains more original images of him than Lincoln, which has earned him the title of “most photographed American of the nineteenth century.” He traveled throughout the country, directed a newspaper that he used as a platform for his ideas and pressured Lincoln to allow blacks to fight for the Union in the civil war. After the abolition of slavery, he dedicated himself to “the most difficult battle,” the struggle for equal rights.
Between 1871 and 1891, he held various public offices, including minister for Haiti (he was the first African-American confirmed for an official appointment by the Senate). In 1876 he became marshal of Washington DC (head of the local police) and settled in the neighborhood of Anacostia, today one of the poorest. The house, Cedar Hill, became a hotbed of political activity. Today a Douglass double greets visitors at the door who come to know the place where the iconic leader ended his days in 1895, married in second marriage with a white one.
Donald Trump disconcerted the country a few months ago by talking about Douglass as if he were alive: “It is an example of someone who has done an amazing job and who is being recognized more and more,” he said. Trump’s blunder is “representative of the lack of general knowledge of the country about the significance of this historical figure,” says John Muller,” author of a biography of Douglass (The Lion of Anacostia),”but it is welcome if it helps that the people pay more attention.” The bicentennial, he says, has a special meaning in the current political context but “it makes no sense to think about what Douglass would have thought or said.”
Ascribed to the Republicans, no one disputes his legacy but his figure is sometimes the object of a dispute between conservatives and democrats, who disagree about how religious or patriotic he might be, given his sharp criticisms of the country, especially before the abolition of slavery. “As a people, Americans know very well all the facts that favor them,” he said in 1852. Some consider this a national trait, perhaps a national weakness. It is a fact that everything that enriches his reputation and is easy to find, will be found by the Americans.”
Translation provided by Google Translate. Original article in Spanish available HERE!