WXXI AM News

A new Frederick Douglass statue will go up at Tracy and Alexander Street

Dec 19, 2018

Credit RYAN WILLIAMSON

A brand new statue of Frederick Douglass will be put up at Tracy and Alexander Street Thursday afternoon.

The statue was torn down and stolen earlier this week, allegedly by St. John Fisher College students John Boedicker and Charles Milks. They have been charged wtih criminal mischief.

A statue was placed at this site as part of a Frederick Douglass Walking Tour. The site is significant because Douglass's daughter was kicked out of a segregated school that once stood here.

Chris Christopher, manager of the Re-energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass Project says this is a time to set aside anger and use this as a teachable moment.

Christopher also said they will have two young men, Eric Daniels and Tian Stephens, both alumni of the Frederick Douglass Club at School 12, reading a letter Douglass wrote addressing the incident at the ceremony.

"Earlier this week two young men tore us down, and tomorrow two young men are going to lift us up with the words of Frederick Douglass, and give the community a little more sense of why this particular location is so important."

She noted that this vandalism happened during the bicentennial year celebration of Douglass, and says overall it’s been wonderful to watch how the region has expressed interest and excitement in his history.

“This is a history that we should celebrate, and a history that people have come together to lit up this entire year. And we know that now without any question, because of the outpouring of anger and outpouring of support that has been received since this incident happened.”

The event will take place Thursday at 1:00 p.m. at Tracy and Alexander Streets.

The Frederick Douglass statues are part of a walking tour throughout Rochester, and belong to the Rochester Community Media Center funded through grants and individual donations.