BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A yearlong celebration is underway to celebrate the 200th birthday of Frederick Douglass, a Maryland native who shaped American history.
Douglass’ life and legacy will be honored across the state.
“We don’t learn enough about Frederick Douglass or Benjamin Bannaker,” said Charlotte Wojick of Ellicott City.
Douglass’ rise from a Maryland slave is on display at the Bannaker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis.
“His fight for human rights and equality, still resonates today,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
Gov. Hogan declared 2018 the year of Frederick Douglass Tuesday.
“He’s left a great legacy behind. The work that he did as an abolitionist and then later after the Civil War being the father of the civil rights and then going on to be a statesman,” said Kenneth B. Morris Jr., a descendant of Douglass.
Three quilts made with 472 hands, each path telling a different story, will criss-cross the state.
“This is not just a separate African-American story, this is an American shared story, a human story,” said Dr. Joan M.E. Gaither of MICA.
People can follow in Douglass’ footsteps with a 21-stop driving tour across Maryland. The Bannaker-Douglass Museum is one of the stops.
“We’re looking to be a community hub for all things Frederick Douglass,” said Chanel Compton who works at the museum.
Relatives of Douglass say he would be humbled by the honor, but if he was alive today, he would still be agitating and fighting for many of the same things he did more than 100 years ago.
“Agitation is still necessary, because we still have work to do,” Morris said.
Gov. Hogan also announced plans are in place to build a new statue of Douglass on the grounds of the State House.
Family members also say a movie is in the works about Douglass’ life.