Frederick Douglass statue in Rochester, New York ripped from its base
The abolitionist’s statue was vandalized on the anniversary of his famous 1852 speech.
A statue of famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass was ripped from its base on Sunday (July 5) in Rochester, New York. The vandalism fell on the 168th anniversary of Douglass’ iconic Fourth of July speech “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” which he gave in Rochester in 1852.
Erected in Maplewood Park in 2018, the site of the statue also runs along the historic Underground Railroad, where Douglass and Harriet Tubman once helped shuttle escaped slaves to freedom. According to police, the statue was found roughly 50 feet from its base at the brink of the Genesee River gorge. Authorities also say that the statue’s base and a finger were damaged by unidentified vandals.
“It’s particularly painful that it happened at this time,” Carvin Eison — who was a leader in the project that brought Douglass’ monument to Rochester — told the Democrat & Chronicle.
Speaking with the newspaper, Eison contrasted the vandalism of Douglass’ statue with the current removal of Confederate monuments around the country. Several statues and images that represent slavery and the oppression of African Americans, including the Confederate flag, have been torn down in recent weeks amidst anti-police brutality protests.
“It’s really sad because here in Rochester the statue of Frederick Douglass has always been a face of good,” Eison said.
Last week, five of the abolitionist’s descendants got together to honor his famous 1852 speech, “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” In a video shared by NPR, Douglass’ family members took turns reading the lines of his address.
“Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice embodied in that Declaration of Independence extended to us?” 20-year-old Douglass Washington Morris II read in the clip.
“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim,” the group of five read together. “To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery.”
According to Eison, the Rochester statue of Douglass will be replaced.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.
“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.
In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!
Take a look inside the Makers Studio presented by Walmart at REVOLT WORLD, a space where Black creators could hone in on their brand and see it come to life.
REVOLT is continuing its impactful partnership with Walmart by teaming up to showcase Black creatives at HBCUs all-across America. The panel consisted of three experienced, accomplished Black HBCU alumni: Actor and media personality Terrence J, entertainment attorney John T. Rose, and actress and “REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy-Rue McCullough.
Walmart supports HBCU students and encourages them to be Black & Unlimited. Fly Guy DC talked to a few at REVOLT WORLD about how being an HBCU student has changed their lives.
In the season finale of “Bet on Black,” special guest judge Ray J joins as the finalists take the main stage to show they have what it takes to win the $200,000 grand prize; Melissa Butler and Eunique Jones Gibson mentor. Presented by Target.
Fly Guy DC taps in with REVOLT WORLD attendees to learn what the Opportunity Center, presented by Walmart, means to them and their futures.
The health of a community can often be traced to the health of the environment that surrounds it. In Atlanta, a woman named Dr. Jaqueline Echols has dedicated her life to helping ensure that people in economically underserved communities have clean rivers – for better health and for the joy of outdoor recreational space.
Here’s a list of rappers who are named after food. Enjoy — or shall we say, “Bon appetit”?
In this exclusive interview, DDG opens up about his fashion inspiration, what drew him to girlfriend Halle Bailey, dealing with negative opinions about his relationship, and more. Read up!
Whether it be the triumphant “Not Afraid” or resilient “Soldier,” Eminem’s music has the power to inspire you to reach your goals.
The artist has remained remarkably consistent in her song lyrics about making money, telling off haters and feeling liberated since her debut.