A statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass has been ripped from its Rochester base on the anniversary of one of his most famous speeches.
ROCHESTER, NY – A statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass was ripped from its Rochester base on the anniversary of one of its most famous speeches, delivered there in 1852.
Police said the Douglass statue was taken Sunday from Maplewood Park, a site along the subway where Douglas and Harriet Tubman helped transport slaves to freedom.
The statue was found on the edge of the Genesee River gorge about 50 feet from its pedestal, police said. There was damage to the base and a finger.
In Rochester on July 5, 1852, Douglass delivered the “What the Slave is for the Fourth of July” speech, calling the celebration of freedom a farce in a nation that enslaves and oppresses its black citizens.
For a slave, Douglass said, Independence Day is “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days of the year, the great injustice and cruelty of which he is the constant victim.”
Carvin Eison, a project leader who brought the Douglass statue to the park, told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that another statue will take its place because the damage is too significant.
“Is this some kind of retaliation due to the national rush for Confederate monuments right now? Very disappointing, it’s more than disappointing,” Eison told WROC.