Frederick Douglass Reenactor Says He Was Born to Play the Part
When he strides through a District restaurant, he seems from another era, wearing the same kind of hat once worn by the 19th-century Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave turned abolitionist, publisher and statesman. Douglas is a Douglass reenactor, you see. In a life of performance art, he poses as the great man. Douglas, 60, makes appearances around the country in top hat and tails, orating in the high English and deep baritone for which Douglass was known. His wife, B.J., a singer, often performs with him, portraying the abolitionist's first wife, Anna Murray Douglass.
He has been captivating audiences for nearly two decades, with his Douglass-like visage, if not always with his actual oratory. His renown has taken him from elementary schools to the White House. At events in 2002 and 2005, President Bush introduced him as Frederick Douglass's descendant. After seeing a Douglas reenactment, Lynne Cheney in 2003 appointed him to her James Madison Book Award Advisory Council.
Douglas isn't just acting. For him, history is alive, and it courses through his veins. Douglas, of Baltimore, says he is a great-great-grandson of the great abolitionist, although some historians and documented Douglass descendants dispute his claim. Calling himself Frederick Douglass IV, he lays claim to a vast historic legacy.
comments powered by Disqus
- Iraq’s Long-Lost Mythical Temple Has Been Found…and Is In Danger of Disappearing Again
- CBS features in-depth coverage of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights law
- Archive of WW II war crimes made public
- They tried to kill Hitler. Now they’re heroes.
- ‘Clinton Inc.’ Author Dishes on Monica Lewinsky and the Blue Dress
- Ukrainian Leaders Are Using David Barton's Theocratic Pseudo-History To Build Their Nation
- John D’Emilio, renowned professor of gay studies, retires
- Journalist Michael Wolraich says he wrote his new book about the Progressives to teach Americans how to do liberal politics
- It’s Martin Kramer vs. Ari Shavit vs. Benny Morris
- It's official: 2014 AHA election results are in