Posts Tagged Rochester
Statement by Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren Regarding Douglass Statue Vandalism and Theft [December 17, 2018]
Statement by Mayor Lovely A. Warren Regarding Douglass Statue Vandalism and Theft
“The vandalism and theft of the Frederick Douglass statue on Tracy Street is a sad event that demonstrates remarkable disrespect for the citizens of Rochester, especially those who have worked so hard to celebrate the legacy of Douglass during the 200th anniversary of his birth. I am grateful to the citizens who reported this incident as it unfolded and for the immediate response of the RPD, which resulted in a successful arrest. I have also spoken with Dr. Gerard Rooney, President of St. John Fisher College, who shares our community’s contempt for this type of behavior. We should all use this opportunity to consider the wisdom and continued relevance in Douglass’s own words when he said: “The soul that is within me, no man can degrade.”
Democrat & Chronicle: “Two charged with trying to steal Frederick Douglass statue” [December 16, 2018]
One of 13 statues of Frederick Douglass erected to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the historic icon’s birth was damaged during an attempted robbery early Sunday morning, Rochester police said.
John R. Boedicker, 20, of Endicott, and Charles J. Milks, 21, of Kenmore, have both been charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, Rochester Police Investigator Jackie Shuman said.
Officers responded to reports at 12:13 a.m. at 1 Tracy St., site of a seminary where Douglass enrolled his eldest daughter, Rosetta, only to withdraw her after finding she was being placed in segregated classes.
The six-foot seven-inch statues by Rochester artist Olivia Kim are made out of cast epoxy resin and weigh 40 pounds and were placed on sites of significance to Douglass’ years in Rochester. It was installed earlier this year.
Those statues were a part of a project called “Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass,” and in a statement issued Sunday, the project’s leaders Carvin Eison, Bleu Cease and Christine Christopher expressed their disappointment in the vandalism.
“People around the area are devastated to learn the news of the attempted theft and severe damage to the statue of Frederick Douglass last night,” the three said in the statement. “We wish that we could write this off as an immature act of vandalism, but sadly, the witness to the theft reports that hateful racial epithets were used by those responsible. We find that incredibly sad.”
The trio urged community members to see the vandalism as an opportunity to teach others about Douglass’ legacy rather than be angry about the damage. They also said the statue will be replaced as quickly as possible.
“On behalf of the entire Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Committee, we want to say thanks to the witness who quickly called the police,” they said in the statement. “Thanks to the Rochester Police Department for their quick response, and to all those who have reached out with words of support.”
Mediocre speculations continue; Yale Professor David Blight demonstrates lack of rudimentary knowledge of sophisticated business mind and acumen of Dr. Frederick Douglass
We know the scholarship. We know Yale Professor David Blight does not truly know the scholarship. Professor Blight is little more than a reiteration of McFeely and Deidrich.
We know Blight’s limited bibliography of original Douglass research. We know his past and current positions within AHA, New York Historical Society, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition and elsewhere. We know there are others that question David Blight’s limited scholarship and troubled interpretations.
We know Blight’s White Man Lies. We know his perverted racist fantasies. We know without a happenstance introduction to Douglass family scrapbooks within the collection of Dr. Walter O. Evans Professor Blight would have not written his deeply flawed, although widely praised, book on Dr. Douglass.
We know when applied pressure to exhaust his scholastic understanding of Dr. Douglass Blight woefully tells on himself, betraying an incredible lack of depth and scope of understanding.
In the course of “agitating” Washington College earlier this year Professor Blight was asked to answer a simple question. Blight demonstrated he doesn’t know diddley about Dr. Douglass and The University yet that didn’t stop Washington College from providing him a stage for his racism. Blight was paid to tell “White Man Lies” then and continues to be paid to lie.
Blight has no clue. He has done nothing to bring up the next generation of Douglass scholars. He has established no journal. No conference. For years he has held summer workshops to communicate his “White Man Lies” and twisted perversions, such as insinuations on the symbolism and meaning of the “Growlery” on Cedar Hill, to impressionable educators.
Blight is all sizzle, no steak. Blight is all rhetoric, no scholarship.
The selfish, manipulative, dishonest and petty Blight is a disgrace to Master Educator William Alston-El who instructed me to not allow anyone to lie on Dr. Douglass.
Blight is not a Douglass Scholar. Blight is just a dude with some buzz-fuzz words who has been around for a couple decades.
Our dear professor may be regarded as an educator at Yale but within the community of Old Anacostia Blight is known as someone who has traveled the world spreading lies about Dr. Douglass.
W Street Douglassonians do not take kindly to anyone disrespecting Dr. Douglass.
Tell the truth to the world. Blight tells lies to the world.
In an interview with “Just The Right Book Podcast” Blight remarks:
He never earned a dime from 1841 until 1877 any other way than with voice and pen. How many people can do that? Now he had some help, too, from his British friends …
Not true. Documents and scholarship does not support this assertion. Blight has neither documents nor scholarship despite studying Dr. Douglass across four decades. This is the best he can do?
Although Blight uses the above misstatement to laud Dr. Douglass — and qualifies it somewhat — it is nonetheless an example of Blight’s glaring incomplete understanding of Dr. Douglass and the respective field of scholarship. Although heralded for 30 years as an “expert” in the field of Douglass Studies, Blight’s expertise is limited and limiting.
In Rochester and Washington City Dr. Douglass invested in real estate. I’ve seen the records in DC folios and libers. They exist. Street historians, community historians, local historians and professionals historians and educators know.
For example, I suggest reading journalist-historian Sally Parker’s wonderful article, “Preserving Family Memories by Remembering an Icon,” in the Spring 2018 edition of the New York Archives which discusses some of Dr. Douglass’ Rochester real estate dealings:
In Blight’s talks, which I have studied — since, you know, he is an alleged Douglass expert and he cites my book 8 times — he has yet to mention just one time the groundbreaking scholarship, If I Survive by Prof. Celeste-Marie Bernier. If I Survive includes select materials of the Walter O. Evans Collection.
As evidence of Blight’s absence of integrity he has yet to mention Prof. Bernier’s book once. The paperback edition of If I Survive is priced at $20 in a deliberate and calculated effort to reach as many students of Douglass, primary source-bound educators, community and street historians and those who carry history with honor and integrity. Being that Blight has no honor and no integrity he fails at every turn to mention and acknowledge this groundbreaking scholarship.
David Blight, a renowned historian whose new book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, has been published to glowing reviews, will be in Rochester Dec. 3 and 4 for two engagements co-sponsored by Rochester Institute of Technology.
Blight will be the featured speaker at “Prophet of Freedom: Frederick Douglass in Word and Song,” at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 at Hochstein Performance Hall, 50 Plymouth Ave., Rochester.
The event, co-sponsored by the University of Rochester, also includes musical performances.
It is free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged.
Blight, the Class of 1954 Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University, wrote his book after a decade of research on Douglass—who spent much of his life in Rochester and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery.
The book, which reviewers have called “monumental,” “moving” and “brilliant,” includes new insights from a private collection of letters on the Douglass family. Blight says Douglass was not only among the most famous Americans of the 19th century, but one of the nation’s most original and enduring voices.
The event at Hochstein will pay special attention to Rochester’s importance in Douglass’s life. The program will take place on the 171st anniversary of the inaugural edition of Frederick Douglass’s first newspaper, The North Star, which he published on Dec. 3, 1847, soon after arriving in Rochester. Blight’s lecture will occur in the same venue where Douglass’s funeral was held in 1895, when it was Central Presbyterian Church.
Blight will sign copies of his book after the presentation. RIT’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection has created a bookplate inspired by Douglass’s The North Star newspaper and printed on an iron hand press. The bookplate image will be inserted in copies of Blight’s books.
The program will also feature special musical performances, including a rendition of “Farewell Song of Frederick Douglass,” a rare piece of sheet music recently acquired by the University of Rochester. Originally published in 1847 in Great Britain, where Douglass fled to avoid re-enslavement after publishing his first autobiography, the song depicts Douglass as a heroic freedom fighter.
A spiritual invocation and benediction will be offered by three members of the Rochester clergy—Rev. Julius Jackson, Muhammad Shafiq and Rabbi Peter Stein—and several spirituals will be performed by Thomas Warfield, director of dance at RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
“We are thrilled to co-sponsor this event with the University of Rochester and bring David Blight to Frederick Douglass’s longtime home,” said Richard Newman, a history professor at RIT.
“This exciting program will allow the entire city to more deeply reflect on the life and legacy of Douglass during the bicentennial of his birth,” said Jessica Lacher-Feldman, assistant dean and the Joseph N. Lambert and Harold B. Schleifer Director of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation at UR.
On Dec. 4, Blight will join Kenneth Morris Jr., a direct descendant of Douglass, at a program on RIT’s campus, “American Diversity & Frederick Douglass: Lessons from the Prophet of Freedom,” from 10 a.m. to noon in Wegmans Theater in the MAGIC Spell Studios Building at RIT.
It is free, but registration is required.
The first hour will feature commentary by Robert Benz, co-founder and executive vice-president of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, an advocacy organization dedicated to community outreach; Carvin Eison, project director for Rochester’s Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Committee; and Olivia Kim, adjunct professor in RIT’s School of Art and Design, who was commissioned to produce 13 statues of Douglass during the city’s Frederick Douglass Bicentennial this year. The second hour will feature a dialogue between Blight and Morris on the life of Douglass.
Blight will sign books immediately after the discussion, which is sponsored by RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, Department of History, Faculty Career Development in the Innovative Learning Institute, The Caroline Werner Gannett Chair in Digital Humanities, the School of Individualized Study, and the Center for Statesmanship, Law and Liberty.
Full story HERE!
“Frederick Douglass in Rochester with John Muller” at Writers and Books (September 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
September 10 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
With the continued recognition of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial throughout the year join Washington, D.C.-based journalist and historian John Muller for a presentation beyond the common lore and mythology of Dr. Frederick Douglass.
John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia (The History Press, 2012), will share largely unknown and previously unpublished material on the activities, experiences and relationships of Dr. Frederick Douglass and his family in Rochester and Monroe County, New York within the community of newspaper editors and journalists, abolitionists, reformists and educators.
Learn how Douglass’ extensive Rochester network sustained him and frequently visited the Douglass family in Washington City.
Additionally, Muller will provide updates on Bicentennial activities in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore-Eastern Shore area.
PowerPoint Presentation, Audience Q & A, books available for sale.
Writers & Books
740 University Avenue
Rochester, NY 14607
Frederick Douglass, Rochester Quakers and Social Reforms in the 19th Century (Sunday, August 5, 2018)
Quaker historian Judith Wellman and Justin Murphy of the Democrat and Chronicle will discuss Douglass’ Quaker connections in Rochester and his role in desegregating Rochester’s public schools. David Shakes will recite portions of Douglass’ speeches, and historian David Anderson will be honored for his career’s work on Douglass.
84 Scio St. (Map)
Sunday, August 5, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM