Discuss The Emancipation Statute Friday

Event to Provide Historical Context, Discussion

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Douglass reenactor Nathan Richardson speaks at a Friday, June 26 protest in Lincoln Park. E.O'Gorek/CCN

There will be another event at the Emancipation Monument in Lincoln Park this Friday.

Reenactor Nathan Richardson will return to Lincoln Park Friday evening, July 3, 2020 as Frederick Douglass to deliver excerpts of “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” (1852). The event is scheduled to take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. near the Emancipation Monument in Lincoln Park and is billed as a “family-friendly conversations about the history of President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.”

A special edition of Moechella has also been organized in Lincoln Park from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, July 3 to demand that the statue be removed, according to Instagram posts by @longlivegogo, the account run by producers of Moechella, the protests in response to the reported silencing of go-go music at the MetroPCS in Shaw.

According to a press release, Richardson will “continue to demonstrate in respectful solidarity and recognition of the history of Lincoln Park.” The event is organized by John Muller, author of “Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia” with the support of organizations affiliated with the history of Douglass and Lincoln.

Last Friday, June 26, Richardson spoke at an emotional rally. A protest, a discussion and a teach-in were all scheduled at the same time. Speakers disagreed on the fate of the statue. Some said the statue, and in particular the representation of the Black man as kneeling, demeans black people and should be pulled down. Others, including candidate for At-Large Council Marcus Goodwin, called for legal removal. Some called for the statue to remain, with explanatory signs.

Richardson portrayed Frederick Douglass at the rally, offering remarks made by the statesman when he spoke at the 1876 dedication of the statue. At the event, Richardson pointed out that formerly enslaved people paid for the statue but had no say in the design.

According to the press release, Richardson is an author, poet and Douglass Historian whose work has appeared in The Cupola and the Washington Post. He is in his sixth year of The Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour, a living history performance in which he tries to capture the physical and spiritual essence of former slave, writer, orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, working with the National Park Service and public television.

Local, regional and national Frederick Douglass historians are expected to gather for a community dialogue. President of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia John O’Brien will offer remarks. Invitations have also been extended to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Mayor Muriel Bowser.

“All speakers are welcome, including students and seniors,” says the release.

Facebook Event Registration: https://tinyurl.com/y7tmxvv8

Eventbrite Registration: https://tinyurl.com/y9c7z468