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Ceremony Marks 122nd Commemoration of Douglass Monument

Staff report

The Frederick Douglass monument at Highland Park was first unveiled in 1899 at the train station downtown.

The great-granddaughter of John W. Thompson, who proposed what would become the iconic statue of Frederick Douglass, received a proclamation from the city during ceremonies honoring the 122nd dedication of the monument.

“I am so excited, so proud of him,” said Cheryl Moore, who represented the family and received a copy of the proclamation from Mayor Lovely Warren at the ceremony June 9.

Thompson began his effort in 1894 as a way to honor Black soldiers and sailors who died in the Civil War.

After Douglass’ death in 1895, Thompson changed the focus to honor the abolitionist and former slave.

Thompson’s account, An Authentic History of the Douglass Monument, is at www.libraryweb.org/~digitized/books/History_Douglass_Monument.pdf

The event at the corner of South Avenue and Robinson Drive was sponsored by the Friends of Frederick Douglass and included a recitation of the history of the monument, other speeches and music.

Here are some scenes from the event:

Cheryl Moore, center, displays the proclamation from Mayor Lovely Warren. Photo by Patti Singer/Minority Reporter Media Group
Dr. David Anderson leads participants in the Pledge of Allegiance. Photo by Patti Singer/Minority Reporter Media Group
Rev. Julius Jackson read some of the history of the Frederick Douglass Monument. Photo by Patti Singer/Minority Reporter Media Group
Jimmie Highsmith provided musical interludes. Photo by Patti Singer/Minority Reporter Media Group