Frederick Douglass Statue Torn Down in Rochester, N.Y., on Anniversary of His Famous Fourth of July Speech

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tags: Frederick Douglass, emancipation, monuments, public history, Protest

A statue of famous abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass was torn from its pedestal in Rochester, N.Y., on Sunday, the 168th anniversary of his famous speech “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?”

According to Rochester police, the seven-foot-high statue was ripped from its base and dragged from Maplewood Park, which is a site along the Underground Railroad in Kelsey’s Landing, where Douglass and abolitionist Harriet Tubman helped enslaved people to freedom.

Rochester police said the statue, a reproduction made of a kind of plastic and finished to look like bronze, had been removed from its base and was found about 50 feet away on the banks of the Genesee River.

Police said the investigation into who is responsible is continuing. No arrests have been made, said Investigator Jacqueline Shuman, public information officer for the Rochester Police Department.

Carvin Eison, project director of Re-Energize the Legacy of Frederick Douglass Committee in Rochester, said the city will replace the monument quickly with another replica that was in storage. “I’ve always said if one goes down ten more go back up,” said Eison, who helped lead Rochester’s celebration of the 200th anniversary of Douglass’s birth.

The attack on the Douglass statue comes at a time when anti-racism protesters across the country are demanding the removal of monuments to slave traders, slave owners and Confederate generals and leaders.

Read entire article at Washington Post