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Home > Community News > Frederick Douglass Family and Douglass Ireland Project Board to Join Dedication of Frederick Douglass Square at University of Maryland

Frederick Douglass Family and Douglass Ireland Project Board to Join Dedication of Frederick Douglass Square at University of Maryland

frederick
(Courtesy Photo) - Frederick Douglass, Abolitionist, 1852

By Bmorenews Staff

(COLLEGE PARK - November 18, 2015) - Descendants of Frederick Douglass and directors of the Frederick Douglass Ireland Project will join dignitaries and students for the dedication of Frederick Douglass Square on November 18, 2015, at the University of Maryland. The centerpiece of the square is a bronze statue of Frederick Douglass, created by renowned Anglo-Irish sculptor Andrew Edwards and inspired by the Frederick Douglass Ireland Project. The statue portrays Douglass as a young man of 27, the age he was when he traveled to Ireland in 1845-46 on a lecture tour, an experience that he described as “transformative.”

“This statue is an important addition to the University of Maryland community, coming at a critical time when young people throughout the country are making their voices heard,” said Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., great-great-great grandson of Douglass and a director of the Frederick Douglass Ireland Project.

“On his trips to Ireland in 1845 and 1846, Frederick Douglass found inspiration for taking up the cause of universal human rights, and renewed his commitment to the ideals of freedom and equality in America. We hope Maryland students, and those who visit the square, find inspiration from Douglass’s example and presence on campus,” said Morris, who is also Founder and
President of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives.

WHO:
• Nettie Washington Douglass, great-great granddaughter of Frederick Douglass; Director,
Frederick Douglass Ireland Project; Founder & Chairwoman, Frederick Douglass Family
Initiatives
• Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass; Director, Frederick
Douglass Ireland Project; Founder & President, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives
• Don Mullan, Co-Founder and Director, Frederick Douglass Ireland Project
• Kristin M. Leary, Co-Founder and Director, Frederick Douglass Ireland Project
• Christine Kinealy, Director, Frederick Douglass Ireland Project; Professor and Founding
Director, Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, Quinnipiac University

WHAT: Frederick Douglass family and Frederick Douglass Ireland Project directors to join
dedication of Frederick Douglass Square at the University of Maryland

WHEN: Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 2:00 PM
WHERE: Hornbake Plaza, University of Maryland College Park 20742

BACKGROUND:
The Frederick Douglass Ireland Project
Founded in 2011 as the Frederick Douglass/Daniel O'Connell Project, the Frederick Douglass Ireland Project highlights the inspirational role that Ireland and the Irish people played in Frederick
Douglass’s life. In 1845, as Ireland was descending into the despair of the great famine, Douglass arrived for a four-month lecture tour of the island. Douglass had escaped slavery in Maryland seven years earlier and had recently published his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself.

He was shocked and appalled by the living conditions of the Irish peasantry and likened them to conditions endured by slaves on American plantations. Douglass was greeted in cities and towns including Dublin, Belfast, and Cork by swells of enthusiastic crowds. Although Douglass continued his speaking tour in Scotland and England, it was his experience in Ireland that he described as “transformative."

Douglass often recalled that his time in “Dear Old Ireland” - the first country outside of the U.S. to publish his autobiography- had given him “a new life.”
The project has established an Honorary Advisory Committee of distinguished academics, decision makers, and thought leaders and generated support and interest from officials in Northern Ireland, Ireland, and the United States, as well as key supporters in the Irish-American and African-American communities.

Future project plans include:
• Academic, cultural, and other programming around a U.S. tour of the resin “Frederick Douglass Ireland Monument” (the inspiration for the University of Maryland statue);
• Continuation of the Frederick Douglass/Daniel O'Connell Address on human and civil rights, to be hosted in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United States (the inaugural Address was
delivered in Dublin in 2014 by U.S. Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis);
• The publication of a collection of speeches and letters by Douglass while in Ireland; and
• The establishment of a Frederick Douglass Cultural Trail throughout the island of Ireland to highlight the places, people, and events that inspired Douglass during his time in Ireland.www.DouglassIreland.org

Tags: Frederick Douglass Family and Douglass Ireland Project Board to Join Dedication of Frederick Douglass Square at University of Maryland

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