Sculpter Olivia Kim and and John Boedicker help install the Frederick Douglass statue. Credit: Max Schulte / WXXI News

Frederick Douglass Statue


Frederick Douglass Statue Vandalized

On the anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ most famous speech: What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? a statue erected in his memory was vandalized.

Statue Restored

The statue of Douglass was taken from Maplewood Park, a site along the Underground Railroad where Douglass and Harriet Tubman helped shuttle slaves to freedom.

On Thursday, July 16, 2020 a new statue was put back in place.

Two men, Charles Milksand John Boedicker, the college students arrested for vandalizing another statue of Douglass in 2018 on Tracy Street, were on hand to help with the installation.

Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., the great-great-great grandson of Douglass and co-founder of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives said that John Boedicker, one of the men who he said admitted and made amends for the 2018 vandalism involving a different Douglass statue in Rochester, is “joining the struggle.”

He released a statement from Boedicker which said the incident on July 5th “saddens my heart,” and he said that he didn’t want to be silent “because Frederick’s message became a part of me after I did what I did.”

Morris said that Boedicker’s statement shows that “every American can use his or her voice at this moment to stand up for what’s right.”