On the 200th Birthday of Frederick Douglass Sept. 16

Al Marder, Amistad Committee

A public meeting commemorating the 200th birthday of the prominent African-American voice against slavery, Frederick Douglass, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Criscuolo Park, Chapel and James Street, New Haven at 10 a.m.. It was at this Park, then called Grapevine Point, that Douglass, traveling the country to encourage enlistment in the Army, addressed the volunteers for the 29th Connecticut Colored Infantry Regiment.

Invited as keynote speaker is Danny Glover, acclaimed actor and civil rights activist. Nathan Richardson, poet actor, will perform. Music will be provided by the Heritage Choral Society. Remarks by Connecticut political figures are also on the program.

“It is important, at this time, when the present administration is attacking all the social gains for which we have struggled all these years, that the New Haven community rally, recalling the past for the present. The Frederick Douglass Commemoration will provide that opportunity. Whatever the issue, we must come together,” declared Al Marder, President, Amistad Committee and Chairman, State of Connecticut Freedom Travel Commitee.

The event, which is free, is sponsored by the Amistad Committee, Inc., Office of the Mayor of New Haven, the Descendants of the 29th Connecticut Colored Infantry Regiment and the State of Connecticut Freedom Trail Committee.  Rain venue will be at the John Martinez School on James Street.

“We Won’t Go Back!” People’s World African American History Month Celebration

by Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

“Revisiting Frederick Douglass Two Centuries Later: WE WON’T GO BACK,” is the theme of this year’s 43rd Annual People’s World African American History Month Celebration.

The event to be held on Sunday, February 26, will feature guest speaker James M. Bradford, drumming by Brian Jarawa Gray and a performance by Ice the Beef Youth including the speech that famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass gave in New Haven.

The event will be held at 4 p.m. at Troup School, 259 Edgewood Ave. After filling the Peoples Center to overflow for years, a larger venue was chosen last year.

Douglass’ extraordinary leadership for freedom guides us in today’s stormy political climate with his powerful call to action: “If there is no struggle, there can be no progress….Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will….The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

In 1864 Douglass (1817-1895) addressed more than 1,200 free Black men gathered at Grapevine Point (now Criscuolo Park) in New Haven to become soldiers in the 29th Regiment of the Union Army and fight in the Civil War.

Guest speaker James M. Bradford is active in the anti-prison movement and Working America in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He chairs the Communist Party of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Winners of the High School Arts and Writing Competition will present their essays, poems or artwork on the theme “How can we best unite against bigotry and injustice?”

Students are asked to express in artwork, poetry, essay or song: “On the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass, leading abolitionist, orator and writer who fought against slavery and for women’s rights, how can we unite against hate, bigotry and injustice to continue his legacy in today’s world?” Submissions must be received at 37 Howe St. by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Also on exhibit will be drawings from the Martin Luther King celebration at Peabody Museum created at the People’s World table on the theme, “How can we best unite against hate?”

Donation is $5 or what you can afford. For more information e-mail: ct-pww@pobox.com.