Friday, June 18, 2021
06/18/2021

Frederick Douglass statue vandalized in upstate NY park on anniversary of speech

A statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass has been toppled and destroyed in upstate New York — on the 168th anniversary of his most famous anti-slavery speech.

Rochester police said the statue of the former slave was taken on Sunday from Maplewood Park, a site along the Underground Railroad where Douglass and Harriet Tubman helped shuttle slaves to freedom.

It was found at the brink of the Genesee River gorge about 50 feet away, and the damage to the base and a left-hand finger was deemed beyond repair, officials said.

The destruction came on the anniversary of Douglass’ 1852 speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” — one that had been widely shared recently amid ongoing Black Lives Matter protests.
Frederick Douglass by George Kendall Warren| National Archives and Records Administration, is licensed under Public Domain
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