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Vandalized Frederick Douglass Statue to be Replaced

Olivia Kim and Geena Cruz (black attire) work to get one of the Douglas statue ready

By staff –

The Frederick Douglass statue that was vandalized and removed from the corner of Alexander and Tracy Street is set to be replaced Thursday, December 20 at 1pm.

The Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass bicentennial project is inviting the public to attend the ceremony where two alumni of the Frederick Douglass Club at School #12—both past award-winners in the national Frederick Douglass Oratory Contest—will be speaking.

Eric Daniels, a student at School of the Arts and Tian Stephens from McQuaid Jesuit High School will deliver speeches relevant to the history of the site.

Organizers say the statue to be installed is not the statue that was vandalized. “The Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass bicentennial project has one remaining statue in storage that was designated for installation at another site that will be re-allocated for this site – meaning that a final replacement statue will have to be made to complete the project,” Organizers noted in a press release.

Upon relocating to Rochester, Douglass enrolled his daughter Rosetta in the Seward Seminary School located on Alexander Street near the intersection of Tracy Street, only to have her suffer racist segregation—the complaints of one parent, HG Warner, led to his daughter being segregated into a separate classroom, a scenario Douglass did not long tolerate.

Daniels and Stephens will deliver Fredrick Douglass’ public response to Horatio Gates Warner.

Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass is a public art project, exhibition and community-wide reflection commemorating the 200th anniversary of his birth. A collaborative effort between lead partners Rochester Community Media Center (Carvin Eison, project director and general manager) and Rochester Contemporary Art Center (Bleu Cease, executive director) in collaboration with the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives and a wide-range of community partners who have come together as the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commemoration Committee. Christine Christopher, Owner of Christopher Communications and former communications director for Mayor Lovely Warren, is the project manager.

13 statues designed by Rochester artist Olivia Kim have been placed at numerous locations around the city. The statues are the property of Rochester Community Media Center and are part of the Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass Project.

Re-Energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass was funded by the New York State Council on the Arts, Rochester Area Community Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Farash Foundation, Michelle Garcia Daniels with in-kind support from the City of Rochester and Monroe County.