Frederick Douglass is recognized as one of the greatest American anti-slavery leaders of the 1800s. Eloquent, smart and determined, Douglass gained fame as a speaker, began his own anti-slavery publications, and became a 'conductor' on the Underground Railroad.
Douglass was a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln and helped persuade Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. He also supported women's suffrage; and, is often described as the founder of the American civil rights movement. Many people found it hard to believe that such a great orator had been held enslaved. Douglass dispelled the belief by slaveholders that captive Africans did not have the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens.
Douglass was born into slavery in Maryland in 1838, The exact date of Douglass' birth is unknown. He chose to celebrate it on February 14. Join African Burial Ground National Monument for our first-ever celebration of the life of Frederick Douglass on Thursday, February 14, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Quotes made by Frederick Douglass will be heard throughout the day over the public address (PA) system. Movies on the Underground Railroad and Frederick Douglass will be shown to the public at 11:00 a.m, and 2:00 p.m., respectively. And, the main attraction of the day will be a musical tribute to Frederick Douglass at 12:00 noon in the lobby of the Ted Weiss Federal Building by Nana Kimati Dinizulu featuring his Grits and Cornbread Ensemble.
Nana Kimati Dinizulu has made many worldwide performances, and is an internationally renown African percussionist. He has performed with many great artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Alvin Ailey, Gregory Hines, Nina Simone, and Harry Belafonte. Mr. Dinizulu has worked with prominent author Toni Morrison in her production "N'Orleans - A Storyville Musical;" and, he was also commissioned by choreographer Judith Jamison for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to compose the music for the smash hit "Riverside."
Reservations are required for all events, and may be accepted by dialing 212-637-2019. More exciting programs are forthcoming for Black History Month and will be available on the park's website www.nps.gov/afbg. African Burial Ground National Monument is located on the first floor of the Ted Weiss Federal Building located at 290 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.