Frederick Douglass Statue in Rochester Vandalized on 168th Anniversary of Famous Speech He Gave There

Fredrick Douglass, circa 1879 (National Archives and Records Administration/Image via Wikimedia )

Police in Rochester, N.Y., are looking for the vandals who tore down a Frederick Douglass statue on the 168th anniversary of his deliverance of a speech titled, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” in the city.

The statue was found discarded over a fence a few feet away from its base in Maplewood Park, located along the Underground Railroad.  

Re-energize the legacy of Frederick Douglass, the group that had erected the statue, told WROC-TV they believed the current national focus on race could have been a cause for the statue’s untimely removal. 

“What comes of this? Is this some type of retaliation because of the national fever over confederate monuments right now? Very disappointing, it’s beyond disappointing,” said Carvin Eison, Project director, re-energize the legacy of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commemoration.

The statue was one of 13 Frederick Douglass monuments placed around the city in 2018 and is the second to be vandalized. Two college students allegedly tore down another Douglass statue in December 2018.

“They can topple over this monument, they could go topple over all of them, this monument will still stand because the ideas behind it are bigger than the monument,” said Eison, who added that the group will not be deterred from their objective to continually celebrate Douglass.

The monument has since been taken in for repairs. Police say they are investigating the incident.

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