Frederick Douglass Monument

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Title

Frederick Douglass Monument

Catalog Entry

Frederick Douglass played a huge role in the fight against slavery. The monument was erected to celebrate his contributions in the freedom of the African Americans from slavery. He escaped slavery in Maryland and lead the Massachusetts’ and New York’s abolitionists movement. He and his wife lived in Lynn during the years which he was accompanied by other abolitionists in the quest to abolish slavery and stop racial segregation off the African Americans (Levine 2). Being a social reformer, an orator, writer, abolitionist and also a statesman, he took the chance to write and make oratories against slavery and discriminations (Levine 2). His intellectual capacity made his fellow abolitionists perceive him as a counterexample of enslavers’ argument that slaves failed to possess the intellect required for them to function independently as American citizens. Frederick spoke on the behalf of slaves. He knew their plights having been born as slaves. He worked as a slave from the age of 6 after being separated from his grandparents (Levine 2). He was sold to different slaveholders. He attempted to escape in 1937 but failed to succeed. He later succeeded to escape in 1838 after years of experiencing inhumane treatment from slaveholders. He joined organizations and attended abolitionist meetings after settling in Lynn, Massachusetts. He fought for ending segregation in the transportation system in Lynn. He also championed for the rights of his people. He participated in the civil war which succeeded in ending slavery.

Story of the monument

The monument was erected as a remembrance of Frederick Douglass and the part he played in the war against slavery, championing for end of discrimination and the rights of the African Americans in Lynn, Massachusetts. Frederick believed that African Americans had a right to fight in the Civil War (Anderson et al. 398). He stated that the war was proposed to ensure the freedom of African Americans and they therefore had a right to participate in it. His view was made public through his newspaper and speeches and African Americans began taking up ranks in the confederates. He conferred with president Lincoln and president Johnson to address the rights of the African American soldiers and their rights to vote (Anderson et al. 400).  . President Lincoln declared all slaves in confederate territories free. With the ratification of the 13th amendment, slaves with whom the amendments applied to were freed. These were slaves in the Union held and northern areas (Anderson et al. 407). Frederick Douglass had secured their freedom. With the abolition of slavery, another amendment was ratified, the 14th Amendment which provided citizenship and the protection of all citizens under the Law. The 15th amendment provided for the right to vote without being racially discriminated upon. The monument was put up in respect to all the accomplishments he achieved in the war against slavery and racial discrimination.

Connections to the Theme of Mini-Exhibition

The mini-exhibition adopted the theme of experiences the African Americans had during and after slavery. The Lynn, MA-Frederick Douglass’s monument has a direct relation to the exhibit. This is because the monument stands in respect of the main individual who was involved in the war against slavery. He is a representation of every effort that was undertaken to fight for the rights of the African Americans against slavery and inhumane treatments. 

The monument represents all the hardships the slaves experienced. Frederick was born a slave and he therefore had experienced the life of a slave. He was constantly beaten and sold out numerous times. Just like property he was also given out on hire. The monument therefore directly relates to the mini-exhibition.

It also relates as it represents a symbol of victory. Frederick fought for the end of slavery. He fought for the end of racial segregation. He fought for the respect of the rights of African Americans. He achieved his purpose when the 13th Amendment was ratified in 1865. He also secured the rights of the African American community when the 14th and the 15th amendment were ratified. The monument therefore relates to the experiences during slavery, in the course to end slavery and the success in ending slavery.

Significance of the Monument

The monument signifies resilience by the African American community. Frederick Douglass was resilient and persistent in his course until he achieved what he had purposed to achieve.

 Slaves were deemed to be individuals without the intellectual capacity to be independent. The monument acts as a reflection of how intellectually capable the African Americans were despite the perceptions displayed.

Another significance of the monument is that it symbolizes unity in the quest for a particular course. Frederick Douglass managed to achieve his purpose by working together with fellow abolitionists. It shows the importance of unity for a particular course.

It also signifies hope. With the cases of discrimination against color and race, the monument signifies hope to the African American community. It makes them believe that times may change for the better and racial discrimination will end.

The monument also signifies the impact of laws in the society. Good laws have positive impacts while bad laws have a negative impact. The African American community was affected negatively when the laws failed to protect them. Once the laws were amended, after agitation by Frederick Douglass, the African American community began to enjoy their rights and privileges as citizens.

Questions raised

A number of questions are likely to be raised with regard to the monument. Such questions may be as follows.

  1. What are the challenges Frederick Douglass faced when fighting for the rights of the African American community in Lynn, Massachusetts?
  2. How are the African American communities affected by the life history of Frederick Douglass now?
  3. Does the monument have a significance in today’s political world?

Bibliography

Anderson, Carl B., and Scott Alan Metzger. "Slavery, the Civil War era, and African American representation in US history: An analysis of four states' academic standards." Theory & Research in Social Education 39.3 (2011): 393-415.

Levine, Robert S. The Lives of Frederick Douglass. Harvard University Press, 2016.

Catalog Entry Author(s)

Christine Muriithi, Student, Fitchburg State University

ALFA Mentor

Veda Ross

Photographer(s)

Kisha G. Tracy

Citation

“Frederick Douglass Monument,” Cultural Heritage through Image, accessed August 10, 2022, https://culturalheritagethroughimage.omeka.net/items/show/198.

Output Formats

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