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Douglass…

Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in February 1818. Frederick’s life was difficult as he barely knew his mother. She lived on a different plantation and died when he was an adolescent. Frederick also did no who his father was and later discovered the identity of his father.

Frederick at a young age was forbidden to attend school but understood the connection between knowledge and freedom. Being able to read will help secure freedom for himself and ultimately his people. When he was at the age of 12, he read a book called The Columbian Orator. It was a collection of revolutionary speeches, debates, and writings on natural human rights.

When Frederick was 15 years of age, he was sent to a slave plantation in Eastern Shore Maryland and rebelled throughout his time there. He was beaten and tormented due to his thirst for freedom and defiance towards enslavement under the system of racism white supremacy.

Frederick later returned to Baltimore, Maryland. He then met a young free black woman named Anna Murray, who agreed to help him escape. On September 3, 1838, he disguised himself as a sailor and boarded a northbound train and used the money Anna gave him to pay for his ticket. Frederick arrived in New York City within a day and declared himself free.

In 1861, the Civil War began in the United States. Frederick Douglass worked hard to make emancipation from slavery a possibly when the war ended. He leads calls and recruited African-American men to fight in the United States Army which included two of his sons. They fought in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. The movie Glory, starring Denzel Washington was based on the fighting 54th!

As the war continued Frederick Douglas continued his fight for freedom for all African-Americans who were still in bondage of the wicket system of oppression. He helps convinced President Abraham Lincoln to push for The 13th Amendment (ratified in 1865) abolished slavery, the 14th Amendment (ratified in 1868) granted national birthright citizenship, and the 15th Amendment (ratified in 1870) stated nobody could be denied voting rights on the basis of race, skin color, or previous servitude. Frederick Douglas also married his longtime love Anne Douglas.

In 1872, the Douglass family moved to Washington, D.C and After the fall of Reconstruction, Frederick Douglass managed to retain high-ranking federal appointments. He served under five presidents as U.S. Marshal for D.C. (1877-1881), Recorder of Deeds for D.C. (1881-1886), and Minister Resident and Consul General to Haiti (1889-1891). Significantly, he held these positions at a time when violence and fraud severely restricted African-American political activism. Frederick continued a tenuous speaking tour schedule. His speeches continued to agitate for racial equality and women’s rights. In 1881, Douglass published his third autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.

A sad note, tragedy struck Douglass’s life in 1882 when Anna died from a stroke. He remarried in 1884 to Helen Pitts, an activist and the daughter of former abolitionists.

On February 20, 1895, Douglass attended a meeting of the National Council of Women. He arrived home to Cedar Hill, hours later he regrettably suffered a heart attack and passed away. Frederick was 77. He had remained a powerful figure in the battle for equality and justice for his entire life.

As you can see, throughout this article are pictures from Douglass’s home in Washington DC, when he served in the Federal Government along with his activism. The furniture in this house are the same ones that Frederick Douglass used when he was still living. As you can see the old time look of the house, the kitchen, and local appliances. The individual rooms of Frederick and his first and second wives as it was customary for married couples to sleep in separate rooms. His first wife Anne, when they first moved into the DC dwelling was mostly confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. The same wheelchair is seen in her room. The pictures of the living room and dining room were still frozen in time as well as the numerous pictures showcased throughout the house. There were rooms for her grandchildren in the attic but sadly I was unable to see it due to the condition of it during the initial tour.

For anyone in the Washington DC area, you can request a tour of the Frederick Douglass house at any time. For more details on obtaining tour passes as well as fees, parking and location please visit https://www.nps.gov/frdo/planyourvisit/fees.htm.

Frederick Douglass House in DC

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thoughts for the Moments..

Urban Life Sunset Pedestrian Crossing
Urban Life Sunset Pedestrian Crossing

 

 

Twas the season to be bold…

I guess mutherfucker.
This is not the same post you are use to seeing. Not really political, well somewhat. Not too sociological bedded. It is my collection of current thoughts. My musings, more a correct way of stating it.

This seasons of human interactions is a fucking ill service to anyone who has a brain and who knows how to normalize things in a logical way. The blame people display towards certain groups but yet when their own does the same thing—silence to dawn.

I try to understand the other side. I really want to have an understanding of this anger, this rage. I am missing the reasoning for such emotions. Even raw emotions are birth from a common place foundations that anyone could relate to. A preponderance of a conclusion of a structural societal norm that isn’t, wasn’t meant for everyone. People I believe gets that. One example is the shirking of he middle class and the jobs of old days are just that—old days.

What’s hard to get is the reason to lash out against another segment of the populace to which they have nothing to do with disappearing jobs. Then the double-standard rises up. The blaming of the working class while , relentlessly the rich and policy makers. Incredible?!

I recently viewed a video on Facebook where this middle age brutha was preaching to a crowd of African-Americans (I am assuming because of the color of their skin but can’t make a statement of fact without knowing their ethnicity) and the crust of of his speech stop blaming others and look at yourselves. Stop blaming the white man. If you don’t make it, it is your fault. We can control our neighborhoods, stop waiting for people to save you (I strongly agree with that last point).

Here is my ire of such a speech. ENOUGH!!!!!!!

The time of being preached down to is long fucking gone. It is buried along with bullshit promises from the establishment we affectionately call our politicians (The day I can meet with my congressman/woman instead of their staffers then I will subtract them from the elite status). I can talk about the factors of being denied credit base on nothing at all. Redlining when it comes to buying a home. Denied loans to start up businesses. Dysfunctional educational system that holds testing rather than grades as the measurement of mastering a grade. Here is a thought, and I don’t think it is a new one.

How about opening the speech like this:

“Good afternoon. I can stand up here and speak to you about our conditions which we and others contributed to. I can talk about the apathetic nature of us and the systematic racism that is against us to this day. But…

Here are some ideas that can alleviate our local crisis in the meantime. For one, we spend a lot of money at the grocery market while the cost of food is going up and wages staying the same for the past 10 years. Instead lets form a food coop (explain the coop). Oh we can develop a community garden as well. We can grown individual gardens on our own property but since a lot of us are renting we are in the process of buying a vacant lot. That vacant lot will be our new garden.

Lets form program of housing coop. This was recently done in Washington DC (explain the process and yes you can use google. It has been done and it is a great benefit for working class people).

Next lets meet and point out who in our community (our neighborhood) who really wants to create a business that would be a need for us (grocery store, clothing store, car shop, etc.). Have them sign a contract to have the business in our community and hire people (outstanding citizens) who live in the immediate community as employees. This is a way to help keep dollars in and long-term investments.

Next buying up more vacant lots…

Next creating a community center that will teach supplementary education along with African-American and people of color (specifically other ethic groups living in the neighborhood ie: Latinos) that isn’t normally taught in schools. Oh, we can look into having classes on cooking and eating right. Creating a diet that is will act as a preventive medical field and lessens our health problems in the long run…

You get what I am saying..

ENOUGH OF THE PREACHING AND MORE OF ACTION!!!!!!!

 

 

 

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