Posts Tagged FD Bicentennial
Everyone involved with the installation of this new mural of a commanding Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass at 16th & W Street SE should be applauded and commended, with special thanks to W Street Douglassonian Ms. Melody, store owner Ephrame, muralist Aniekan Udofia and all of Old Anacostia.
Chautauqua 2018: Seeking Justice, with Frederick Douglass (July 9 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum; St. Michaels, Maryland)
This summer, join Maryland Humanities at its 24th annual Chautauqua living history series, with three performances at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The theme of Chautauqua 2018 is “Seeking Justice.
This program also serves as part of Maryland’s bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’s birth. CBMM is proud to be a part of this year-long celebration, as we share the stories of Frederick Douglass through the Mitchell House exhibition and programming throughout the year.
Frederick Douglass, a writer, orator, and abolitionist, was one of the most important African-American activists of the nineteenth century. During the “Year of Frederick Douglass,” the bicentennial celebration of his birth, this Maryland icon will be portrayed by Bill Grimmette, a living history interpreter, storyteller, actor, and motivational speaker who has appeared as Martin Luther King, Jr., W.E.B. DuBois, and Benjamin Banneker at Chautauquas in Maryland, Colorado, and South Carolina.
All performances will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held outdoors. Please bring a folding chair. In case of severe weather, program will be held in the Steamboat Building auditorium.
The 2018 Chautauqua Summer Series at CBMM is generously sponsored by Karen and Langley Shook, and is funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council, Talbot County, and the Towns of Easton, Oxford and St Michaels.
Frederick Douglass: “Of my father I know nothing.” The “Miseduction” & dumbing down of Douglass continues by Baltimore’s Lou Fields who claims to know identity of Douglass’ father.
The Douglass-Banneker Museum and St. John’s College in Annapolis hosted an event with presentations by Morgan State University professor Dale Green, retired Salisbury State history professor Clara Small, Baltimore City high school student Jada Jackson and the improvisational tour promoter Lou Fields.
When Fields, an elder who has been advocating and spreading half-right, half-wrong information about Douglass in Fells Point for two decades, shared two slides declaring Thomas Auld was Douglass’ father I spoke up from the audience to protest his opinion.
Throughout the rest of the evening, following a thoroughly detailed genealogical presentation by Professor Green, Mr. Fields offered a defense of his “miseduction” by citing and reading from a transcript of a speech Douglass delivered in 1847.
Many in the audience knew nothing of Douglass; therefore the dumbing down is what they will retain, not the nuanced and full truth.
According to Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1892), written by Frederick Douglass:
Of my father I know nothing.
Slavery had no recognition of fathers, as none of families. That the mother was a slave was enough for its deadly purpose. By its law the child followed the condition of its mother. The father might be a freeman and the child a slave. The father might be a white man, glorying in the purity of his Anglo-Saxon blood, and the child ranked with the blackest slaves. Father he might be, and not be husband, and could sell his own child without incurring reproach, if in its veins coursed one drop of African blood.
Throughout his life Douglass privately and publicly questioned who his father was.
That also shifts our perspective on the life of his mother, whoever the father might have been. He could have been another slave belonging to another master. He could have been a free black man. He could have been a white man other than her master; or, he could have been Aaron Anthony. Whoever he was, by either consent or force, he had access to her body from 1812 until she died in 1825 or 1826. That rules out Perry Ward Steward, the overseer on one of the farms where she worked; James Nabb and John Malony, to whom she was hired out during her teens; and Thomas Auld (a theory of William McFeely, which holds no water for logistical reasons, too), Douglass’s second master. Because of age or death, none of these men had access to her for the entire period of her childbearing years.
For a while, I was suspicious of claiming Anthony as Douglass’s father. So many have, but without any thought beyond Douglass’s word in the Narrative alone. Then, he said that it was mere rumor. In the second autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom, he said that he had reason to believe that his master was not his father. He completely dismissed the matter in all versions of his final autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. The whole discussion of his parentage, too, is shaded by the propagandist purpose of each version of his life. Much of what he says is true, but spun for a variety of reasons at a particular point in time, and maybe not true in quite the way that he thinks it is.
Mr. Fields is an elder. I understand he has been active in the state of Maryland on the political level and was helpful in the creation of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park. Good work.
To minister the good news, to spread the gospel of Douglass, it is problematic to assert and present selective speculations as facts. As Mr. Fields demonstrates the peddlers of Douglass speculation are everywhere from Yale to Harvard to Thames Street.
As the late senator Daniel P. Moynihan said:
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not to his own facts.”
May 10 – May 25, 2018 -> The Frederick Douglass Project, A site-specific production by Solas Nua about Frederick Douglass’ transformational journey to Ireland
To commemorate Douglass’ bicentennial Solas Nua has commissioned a new work that celebrates his 1845 trip to Ireland. It was in Ireland that Douglass said, “I find myself treated not as a color, but as a man.”
It was also in Ireland where Douglass’ freedom papers were purchased by his Irish hosts, his books sold out at his speaking engagements, and he wrote, “I can truly say I have spent some of the happiest moments of my life since landing in this country, I seem to have undergone a transformation. I live a new life.”
This production will give DC audiences an untold story about one of Washington’s greatest historical figures.
- The production is site-specific; staged on a pier at The Yard’s Marina (Navy Yard) and will feature live hip-hop music and dance remixed in an innovative blend of Irish music and dance.
- The “project” is written by award winning writers Deirdre Kinahan(Wild Sky; Moment) and Psalmayene 24. In order to get a dual perspective on the subject, we commissioned an African-American and an Irish writer to create pieces that featured Douglass’ experience in Ireland.
- The production has received support from The DC Commission for Arts & Humanities, The Irish Embassy, Kenneth Morris and the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation.
Special thanks to Ephrame aka “E” for his leadership as a small business owner in the community, muralist Rebeka Ryvola for her creation of a vernacular mural which captures Frederick Douglass with his local and national friends, local author Dr. Courtney Davis for organizing the picture day, Ranger Nate, Ranger Virginia and the good folks of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site for their presence and Grahams Alley Douglassonian Tarence Bailey, Sr. of The Hill community of Old Easton, Maryland in Tablot County for coming together to make a memorable day for the neighborhood of Old Anacostia.
Thank you for your kind support!
P.S. Want to extend special thanks to those who supported the creation of the mural with in-kind donations or a financial contribution to cover costs.
Anacostia Watershed Society
Capital Community News (East of the River)
Nettie Washington Douglass
Brandon & Anna-Lee Dozier
Prof. Leigh Fought
Frager’s Hardware Store
Dr. Perry Frank
Phil Hutinet (East City Arts)
Kenneth B. Morris
Stephen “Boundary Stones Godfather” Powers
Brent & Leigh Peterson-Weiser
Principal Riddlesprigger (Ketcham Elementary School)
W Street Douglassonians
Raymond Weeden (DC Prep – Anacostia Elementary Campus)
Renowned abolitionist Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) transformed himself from a Maryland slave to an international spokesman for racial justice. Near the end of his life, he planned to retire at a newly built summer cottage in Highland Beach near Annapolis, MD. His legacy and his family’s involvement at Highland Beach created an incorporated African American town that continues to thrive until this day. Come and explore this extraordinary community together with other Fulbright members!
The agenda includes:
- Tour of the Frederick Douglass home, museum and the neighborhood
- Short film on the history of Highland Beach
- Panel discussion and a featured talk by Dr. Lawrence Jackson, Fulbright scholar and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of English and History at Johns Hopkins University.
The Birthday Celebration will be held at the Frederick Douglass Home and Museum and Highland Beach Town Hall (about 35 miles from Downtown DC) and run from 1pm to 5pm.
NOTE: A shuttle bus from Union Station to Annapolis will be available for up to 23 participants for an additional $5. It will leave Union Station promptly at 11:30am and return riders there after the event.
For more information and tickets — HERE!
Tarence Bailey, Grahams Alley Douglassonian of Easton, Maryland, connects with W Street Douglassonians of Old Anacostia
On Sunday, March 18, 2018 in the year of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Mr. Tarence Bailey (US Army, Ret.), whose grandfather (5x) Perry Bailey was the older brother of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass and who passed in 1880 on Cedar Hill, walked the streets of Old Anacostia to connect with local inhabitants and indigenous Douglassonians.
It is not any man, or woman, person or group who can hold the time and attention of young men on the corners by chopping up the math and science of American and African history.
Mr. Bailey shared some of his experiences growing up in Easton in the 1980s and early 1990s when the area was faced with similar challenges that face Anacostia, as well as a tour he took of the Wye Plantation where ancestors of his Tribe are buried in an unmarked mass slave grave that has been maintained for longer than this country has existed. History is not something in a history book or biography to Mr. Bailey.
No firm plans were yet made to unite the two villages but it is known among tribal leaders of Old Ana the Eastern Shore mutually respects and welcomes W Street Douglassonians for a visit across the Bay to the native soil that birthed the Sage of Anacostia and America’s Pharaoh, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey.
Mr. Bailey shared some of the differences and similarities of Old Easton and Old Anacostia. His authority and ability to speak on history was respected and openly received. The history of the Bailey Tribe is the history of this country. The history of Mr. (Bailey) Douglass on Jefferson Street is the history of Old Ana. The history of Old Ana is the history of DC. The history of DC is the history of this country.
Young men at 16th & U and some of the older-younger guys at 16th & V spoke with Mr. Bailey and expressed mutual respect and admiration for the unique and sacred Douglassonian legacy the two communities have a shared responsibility to uphold and protect.
For the purposes of local lore and the year of the Bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’ Birth it was a historic and important day for the neighborhood of Old Anacostia to host Mr. Bailey.