Posts Tagged Georgia Avenue
“Haiti and Frederick Douglass Across Generations & Geography” – May 23, 2020 3PM – 5PM @ Sankofa Books; 2714 Georgia Avenue, Washington D.C.
Enjoy an afternoon of history and discussion at the locally respected and internationally known Sankofa Video Books & Café on Georgia Avenue, across the street from Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Dual presentations will be offered by author and historians John Muller & Frantz Derenoncourt, Jr. discussing Dr. Frederick Douglass as a student of Haitian history, U.S. Minister to Haiti and the impact of the Haitian Revolution on Douglass, in which he drew inspiration and invoked throughout his life on the public stage.
Travel from pre-industrial Baltimore City, where a young Frederick Bailey first learned of François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture from Afro-Haitian refugees on their way to school in his neighborhood, to the appointment of Frederick Douglass by President Grant to the Santo Domingo Commission to Paris, where Douglass developed friendships with Afro-Haitians, to the service of Minister Douglass to Haiti during the administrations of Haitian President Florvil Hyppolite and American President Benjamin Harrison to the 1893 World’s Exposition in Chicago where Douglass presided at the Haitian Pavilion.
— Seating will be available on a first come basis —
Frantz Derenoncourt Jr. is the author of several books on Haitian history and the owner of Thorbred Books. Derenoncourt lectures widely to schools, community groups and professional organizations.
John Muller is the author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia (2012) and is currently at work on a book on Douglass and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
For more information on Sankofa visit:
Sankofa is located across the street from the Howard Business School, minutes away from the historic U Street and Shaw neighborhoods.
Metrorai: Petworth, U Street, Columbia Heights and Shaw-Howard are located approximately .8 miles away.
Buses: 70 & 79 offer convenient stops nearby.
Thank you Sankofa Books on Georgia Avenue NW for uplifting history of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.
Adjacent to the campus of Howard University on Georgia Avenue NW Sankofa Books has been a gathering place for students, activists, community organizers, professors and street historians since the late 1990s.
As a youngster coming up taking the 70 bus it was not an ambition to one day have my own work of local history on Frederick Douglass displayed on the shelves of the Godmother of Washington City’s Pan-African and Afrocentric bookstores.
During a recent visit to Sankofa we connected with a legendary 7th Street historian and throne seat poet who is considering a localized work on Dr. Douglass in the mid-west.
Moving into the fall and winter we hope to begin a series which will look closer and more properly at the history of American Pharaoh Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass and a variety of subjects currently being suppressed by diabolical Eurocentric thought and scandal-mongering.
As local street historians our responsibility is to uplift the scholarship and the humanity of its interpretation and discussion.
Gratitude and respect cannot be properly expressed in language to Sankofa Books for uplifting and recognizing the local history of Dr. Douglass and for being a diplomatic outpost for street scholars around the world of the Douglassonian Diaspora.
Thank you, Sankofa, Georgia Avenue and all late night students and historians on the back of the 70.
It is an honor to be in company of fellow authors Master Historian C. R. Gibbs, Dr. Ida E. Jones, Archivist of Morgan State University, Jenny Masur of the D.C. Historical Studies Planning Committees of yesteryear and other colleagues, friends and mentors within the local Washington, D.C. / Baltimore history communities.
Will Old Anacostia & Washington, D.C. join Fell’s Point, Baltimore and Easton, Maryland in hanging banners to honor Frederick Douglass Bicentennial celebration?
In this week’s edition of The Washington Informer is an article I wrote, “Activists Call for Douglass Banners in Old Anacostia to Hail Bicentennial Celebration,” with quotes from Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Honorable Ken B. Morris, Jr., Chuck Hicks and Duane Guatier of the Anacostia Arts Center.
The article has precipitated discussions as to how to make the presence of banners a reality. In order to advance the conversation I share a couple ideas:
Throughout the neighborhoods of Washington City a residual spirit of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass touches extant churches, schools, cemeteries, bridges, landmarks and buildings. Both local and national activism efforts required Dr. Douglass to remain familiar with the Federal City, as well. The United States Capitol, White House and Treasury are all places Dr. Douglass was no stranger.
Therefore distinctive Douglass banners could be placed in minimally three (3) separate locations throughout NW, NE and SE Washington:
- Lower Georgia Avenue & upper 7th Street NW — Frederick Douglass and Howard University
- Capitol Hill Historic District — Frederick Douglass and Reconstruction (editor of the New National Era & relationship with Congress)
- Anacostia Historic District — Frederick Douglass and Family; Frederick Douglass and local activism
For the installation of Douglass banners in Washington City to occur there must be a sense of purpose and urgency upon a number of elected officials, bureaucrats and community partners.
Washington City has the collective sophistication and enough collective coin to make this easily happen and happen quickly. Ideally, installation before July 4th would have been poetic but as we are in mid-June that won’t happen.
It appears there needs to be coordination on the Douglass Bicentennial between the offices of Mayor Muriel Bowser and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. With the municipal support of Bowser and the federal support of Norton the placement of banners can be achieved.
I can personally attest, and the record reflects, Congresswoman Norton has been a lioness on the Hill advocating and uplifting the legacy of Dr. Douglass for many years now. The relocation of the Douglass statue from Judiciary Square to the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall was largely due Congresswoman Norton’s leadership. Norton is truly a Douglassonian. However, there is only so much she can do as her office has larger issues to contend with under the Trump Administration.
William Alston-EL and I attended the opening of then-Mayoral candidate Bowser’s Anacostia field office many years ago. Other than light conversation I do not know Mayor Bowser and her level of commitment to Douglassonianism and the uplifting of fallen history.
As part of President Trump’s inaugural parade the DC government (city council and Mayor) displayed a Douglass banner across their stand. The convenient ceremonial pageantry is not what is needed now.
What is needed is leadership and coordination between local ANC Commissioners (Wards 1, 4, 6 and 8), Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), DC Office of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), DC Commission on Arts & Humanities (DCCAH), Office of Planning’s Historic Preservation Office (HPO) and a bevy of community organizations from Shaw to Capitol Hill to Old Anacostia.
It is time for Washington City to join Fell’s Point, Easton and Rochester in uplifting Frederick Douglass.
Below is the image the National Park Service has used to commemorate the Douglass Bicentennial. Potential banners could be two-sided, with this image or a unique image on one side and a geo-specific or thematic design on the reverse side.