Posts Tagged W Street Douglassonians
Days before the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site opened to the public for the Capitol Fireworks, and W Street SE Fireworks Show, for the first time in a generation, local horticulturalist Ron Ammon from Annapolis-based Nature Sacred devoted special attention to an overlooked small park on Cedar Hill’s sacred grounds.
Years ago Open Spaces Sacred Places, now Nature Sacred, installed two benches in a gardened recreation space behind the parking lot. The rear bench, in an area shaded by extending foliage, had unfortunately weathered and succumbed to termites in recent years.
With an official heat index over 100 degrees Ron unloaded materials and tools from his white pick-up truck and got to work assembling a new sacred bench for the landscape of the Douglass family home.
In quick time Ron hauled and disposed of the old bench in the adjacent woods and moved the new bench into place. I accepted his invitation to take it on its first test-drive.
Ron also cut back dead branches of the nationally stricken Ash Tree, inspected the small foot bridge and generally cleaned up the park area.
A young artist visiting the Douglass home with her parents completed a sketch of Ron, a true W Street Douglassonian Naturalist, to show her appreciation for his industrious spirit.
We thank Ron, Nature Sacred and the TFK Foundation for the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site and all Douglassonian Naturalists from W Street SE and all parts of the world that visit the sacred grounds.
W Street Douglassonians and local activists have been familiar with this organization for many years, including the installation of benches in Market Square nearly a decade ago.
A wonderful organization that helps communities heals from the outside by promoting nature’s impact and importance to everyday life.
GoFundMe: Frederick Douglass Mural Exhibit planned for fall 2018 premier at The Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives in downtown Washington City
From September 20, 2018 until October 13, 2018 an exhibit of Frederick Douglass public art murals in Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Rochester will be on display and review at The Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives at 17th & M Streets in downtown Washington, D.C.
Public programming will accompany the exhibit highlighting presentations on Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C., murals throughout the world and the importance of visual representation and photography to Frederick Douglass, the most photographed American of the 19th Century.
Sponsors will be thanked by name in public program and other materials.
Donations will cover costs associated with:
1) Printing high resolution photographs of murals
2) Framing photographs
3) exhibit installation — explanatory text for each mural
printing promotional materials – flyers, postcards, local advertisements and street team
4) honorariums for panel participants
5) costs of special commemorative edition of The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave for youth ages 8 – 18
6) incidentals — materials, equipment, etc.
** Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Frederick Douglass Community Conference in December 2017 and to “Spread Southside Love” mural in February 2018.
Thank you for your continued support of the Frederick Douglass 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.
Why does Yale Professor David Blight say, he wants to “chain [Frederick Douglass] to a chair”? Blight exposes himself as a closet racist. Entire history community liable.
W Street Douglassonians can determine on at least two separate occasions — Harvard Law School in November 2016 and Maryland Historical Society in February 2018 — when Yale Professor David Blight has spoken of hypothetically chaining Frederick Douglass to a chair in order to interrogate him as to his “manipulative” autobiographies.
At Harvard Blight said:
And that’s the first problem that anyone working on Douglass faces. It’s how the autobiography is always in the way of the biographer. The problem with Douglass is that the subject is always in your way. And you’re constantly trying to get around him, through him, over him. Sometimes, you just want to sit on him. You know, chain him to a chair – bad metaphor – and say, “Stop now!” Why don’t you talk about these 100 subjects in your autobiography?
At the Maryland Historical Society Blight said:
I have this imaginary seminar that we’re going to have someday with Douglass and he’s going to be at the end of the table and we’re going to — bad metaphor — but we’re going to chain him to the chair! He can’t get out!
This is sickening. This is dangerous. This statement is calculated, deliberative and manipulative. This is racist.
This is an older white historian from Yale describing, for at least the second time in a public setting, a fantasy (he claims he has had) where he intends to “chain [Frederick Douglass] to the chair!”
That David Blight has masqueraded as a “Douglass Scholar” for decades, speaking at recent events such as “The Future of the African American Past,” represents the oppressive power of “White Man Lies” over the entire American historical industry, let alone the nascent field of Douglassoniana Studies.
The history and life of Dr. Douglass is too sacred to be distorted by racists, liars and used car salesman-types.
Special thanks to Marsha Andrews from Flint, Michigan. She recently contacted me on Facebook to defend David Blight’s racism. This post is because of her inability to tell me any errors in my scholarship.
Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass & Higher Education: University of Rochester Edition, Pt. 4 [Letter, June 1879, from Frederick Douglass thanking citizens and friends of Rochester, President of University of Rochester for installing marble bust in Sibley Hall]
When the University of Rochester unveiled the long anticipated marble bust of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass by local artist Johnson Mundy on its campus in June 1879 the man being celebrated was not in attendance.
To recognize the University of Rochester, President Anderson and his friends and associates in Rochester who had commissioned the work and organized the effort Douglass sent a timely letter to confidant Samuel Porter.
The below article and letter from Dr. Douglass was contemporaneously published by the Democrat and Chronicle and re-printed by fellow Rochester newspapers.
Additionally, Douglass thought the statue consequential and important enough to mention in Life and Times.
It will be remembered that a bust of Frederick Douglass was recently placed in Sibley Hall, of the University of Rochester. The ceremonies were quite informal – too informal, we think, as commemorating a deserved tribute from the people of Rochester to one who will always ranks as among her most distinguished citizen. Mr. Douglass himself was not notified officially of the event and therefore could in no public manner take notice of it. He was, however, informed privately of it, and responded most happily, as will be seen by the following letter which we are permitted to publish: –
Washington, D.C., June 25, 1879
My dear Sir, – I am extremely obliged to you for your kind and timely letter which came this morning, for it was a relief from a real cause of embarrassment.
When I first read of the formal unveiling and the presentation of my bust to the city of Rochester, the speeches made on the occasion by imminent gentlemen, – notably the remarks of Dr. Anderson, the honored President of Rochester University, an institution which has done so much to make the name of the city illustrious, – I felt an almost irrepressible impulse to do or say something out of the common way to some one of my old friends and fellow-citizens, which should express however crudely, something of the grateful sentiment stirred in my breast by this distinguished honor.
But as no one of the respected gentlemen active in the procurement of the testimonial said anything to me about it, and treated me as if I were out of the world, as all men should be when they are once reduced to marble, I began at last to think that silence on my part was perhaps the best way to the properties of the occasion.
Now, however, I am relieved. You have made it easy for me to speak to express my earnest acknowledgements to the committee of the gentlemen having this matter in charge and who have conducted it to completion.
Incidents of this character in my life do much amaze me. It is not, however, the height to which I have risen, but the depth from which I have come, that most amazes me.
It seems only a little while ago, when a child, I might have been fighting with old “Nep,” my mother’s dog, for a small share of the few crumbs that fell from the kitchen table; when I slept on the hearth, covering my feet from the cold with warm ashes and my head with a corn bag; only a little while ago, dragged to prison to be sold to the highest bidder, exposed for sale like a beast of burden; later on, put out to live with Covey, the negro breaker; beaten and almost broken in spirit, having little hope either for myself or my race; yet here I am alive and active, and with my race, enjoying citizenship in the freest and prospectively the most powerful nation on the globe.
In addition to this, you and your friends, while I am yet alive have thought it worth while to preserve my features in marble and to place them in your most honored institution of learning, to be viewed by present and future generations of men.
I know not, my friend, how to thank you, for this distinguished honor.
My attachment to Rochester, my home for more than a quarter of a century, will endure with my life.
Very gratefully and truly yours,
“FREDERICK DOUGLASS,” June 28, 1879, Democrat and Chronicle, p. 2
Over the past year or more there has been a ubiquitous and steadfast presence at nearly every Douglass-related and Civil War-related event I’ve attended. You have probably seen him and noticed him snapping away hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs.
Who is he?
Eric Zhang is local history enthusiast and the Unofficial-Official Photographer of all Douglass Bicentennial-related events in and around the Washington metropolitan area.
This weekend there was a small event at the Highland Beach community on the Chesapeake Bay and you know who was there taking photographs; none other than Eric.
We wanted to thank Eric for his continued commitment, interest and documentation of the Douglass Bicentennial.