Frederick Douglass Statue Coming to U.S. Capitol

Douglass Descendants Continue Fight To End Slavery

ATLANTA, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The District of Columbia will receive a measure of representation in the bronzed form of Frederick Douglass. On the nineteenth of June, a veil will be lifted in Emancipation Hall from the 101st statue to adorn the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington D.C. While each state has two such famous figures in the hall, this is the first opportunity for D.C. to welcome one of its own.

"Frederick Douglass was born a slave on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in Talbot County in 1818," says Yale University historian, David Blight, as he discusses Douglass. "He died at Cedar Hill, his home in the District of Columbia in 1895, as one of America's most distinguished citizens.  From 1872 to his death Douglass and his entire extended family lived in Washington, DC, and indeed the Douglasses became a kind of African American first family of the capital.  As a world renown abolitionist, an incomparable orator, the author of three classic versions of his autobiography, as a federal statesman who held three important positions in the U. S. government (Marshal of the District of Columbia, Recorder of Deeds in the District, and U. S. Minister to Haiti), and especially as a thinker and newspaper editor Douglass was the most influential black American of the nineteenth century.  He loved his country as he also performed at times - before, during, and after the Civil War - as one of its fiercest critics.  From slavery on the sandy soil of Maryland's Eastern Shore to the self-willed and nationally sanctioned freedom on thousands of speaker platforms and in the halls of power in Washington, D.C., Douglass's life stands across the nineteenth century as the embodiment of the transformations of his and our country."

Amongst the members of Congress, historians, popular personalities and national press, the descendants of Frederick Douglass will be in attendance during the unveiling ceremony.  Nettie Washington Douglass is the Abolitionist's great great granddaughter as well as the great granddaughter of Tuskegee University Founder and renown educator, Booker T. Washington.  She is Chairwoman of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI), an Atlanta-based, non-profit organization dedicated to ending the many forms of slavery that still survive in the world today.

"We are so proud that the Congress of the United States has chosen to honor Frederick Douglass in this way," said Ms. Douglass. "We especially want to thank Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia for helping make this a reality."

"Like the other legacies represented at the Capitol Visitors Center," Ms. Douglass adds, "the spirit of this remarkable man is very much alive today. For all of those unwilling to accept the injustice and oppression that still haunt us as a species, Douglass encourages us to Agitate!Agitate!Agitate! That's exactly what FDFI is doing. And, when we remember the example set by Booker T. Washington, we're inspired to Educate! to achieve change."

FDFI creates educational programs for secondary school students as well as training for teachers designed to help understand and prevent human trafficking in communities across America. It has been invited to launch a training program for administrators in New York City Public Schools this July.

FDFI is a 501(c)(3) public charity that creates service-learning curricula encouraging young people to affect the issue of modern slavery by mobilizing especially through the use of social media, the arts and direct engagement in community issues. FDFI also provides training by national and local experts on the subject of human trafficking. Ms. Douglass and her son, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., President of FDFI, are available for interviews and speaking engagements upon request.

Media Contact:

Robert Benz, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, 702-523-4845,

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SOURCE Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives



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