ANNAPOLIS – General Assembly leaders, the University of Maryland System and Morgan State University will host a tribute to state native Frederick Douglass on Monday.
“He has been a hero for African-American people,” said Del. Elijah Cummings, speaker pro tem of the House of Delegates, who will speak at the event. “With him having been raised here in Maryland, I think it’s very important to do the ceremony during African-American History Month.”
The event, which is free to the public, marks the 100th anniversary of the death of the abolitionist and human rights advocate. It will take place from 11 a.m. to noon in the lobby of the Statehouse.
Gov. Parris N. Glendening will read a proclamation, and University of Maryland System Chancellor Donald Langenberg will announce the system’s new Frederick Douglass Awards.
The award will be given annually to an individual “who best exemplifies the principals, goals and values to which Frederick Douglass dedicated his life,” said Harriet Scarupa, a University of Maryland System spokesperson. “We wanted to honor someone who has a lot of qualities and concerns Douglass had.”
In addition, the system will co-sponsor an essay contest with the Maryland State Department of Education. Any student enrolled in a Maryland high school, middle school or elementary school may enter. The first winners will be announced in February 1996.
The Morgan State University and Coppin State University choirs will also perform. Douglass, who was born a slave on the Eastern Shore, gained national recognition for his anti-slavery work as a speaker, writer, editor and public servant. He advocated education as a tool for liberation and improving the human condition. -30-