Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Wreath Laying Ceremony February 14

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The Frederick Douglass Honor Society proudly presents a Bicentennial Wreath Laying Ceremony on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, at 12 Noon. Decendants of Frederick Douglass and Lyndra Pratt Marshall will lay a wreath in remembrance of one the nation’s most influential men in history, Frederick Douglass. The 60-minute Ceremony will take place at the Talbot County Court House, by the Frederick Douglass Statue, erected in 2011.

Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born on February 14, 1818 in Talbot County, Maryland.  Although he was born into slavery, he became one of the most influential men of the 19th century and one of the preeminent writers in American History. His book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, had a powerful impact on the American abolitionist movement.

Douglass became an astonishing orator and his words have inspired leaders from Abraham Lincoln to W.E.B. DuBois to Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama. He lived through the Civil War, the ending of slavery, and the beginning of segregation. In his address on December 7, 1890, he said, “I have seen the dark hours in my life, and I have seen the darkness gradually disappearing, and the light gradually increasing. One by one, I have seen obstacles removed, errors corrected, prejudices softened, proscriptions relinquished, and my people advancing in all the elements that make up the sum of general welfare. I remember that God reigns in eternity, and that, whatever delays, disappointments and discouragements may come, truth, justice, liberty, and humanity will prevail.”  Celebrated internationally as the eminent black intellectual of his time, Douglass’ story will forever resonate.

In remembrance of Frederick Douglass on his 200th birthday, Maryland’s Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford and Lyndra Pratt Marshall will serve as guest speakers. Born in the District of Columbia, Rutherford is an accomplished attorney with lifetime experiences in both the public and private sector. He held various Federal posts under President George W. Bush and was chief administrative officer of the Republican National Committee from 2009 to 2011. Lt. Governor Rutherford also served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of General Services under Governor Robert Ehrlich.

Reverend Dartanyon L. Hines will deliver the Bicentennial Ceremonial Invocation.  Over the past 27 years, he has functioned in ministry as a Preacher, Church School and Chief Administrative Officer, Outreach Minister, Youth Minister, Young People Department Advisor, Missionary, Evangelist, Spiritual Counselor, Friend and Brother. Rev. Hines proudly serves the Scotts United Methodist Church and Asbury United Methodist Church.

Lyndra Pratt Marshall is an Oral Historian, and the former Chair of the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, which is committed to discovering, documenting, preserving, collection and promoting Maryland’s African American heritage. Marshall is an internationally renowned genealogist, author, teacher, lecturer, and a partner of the African Ancestory, Inc., the pioneers in DNA Genetic Testing. She is also the owner of GENE-ALL-OF-US, Inc., a Family Heritage Research and Resource Center.

Mikehia Pinkney, a sophmore at Easton High School and a member of the EHS Band, will provide music during the laying of the wreath.  Harriette Lowery, a founding member of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society and member of the Society’s board of directors, will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Senator Addie Eckardt will present a proclamation from the State of Maryland.

The Frederick Douglass Honor Society has selected Reverend Wendell Gary, Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Church in Easton, to deliver the Benediction. He was ordained an itinerant deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in April 1996 and ordained as itinerant elder in 1998.  Rev. Gary previously served as associate pastor at Oak Street A.M.E. Church in Baltimore and appointed Pastor of the Bethel A.M.E. Church in Church Hill in 1998. Nine years later, he became the Pastor of Mt. Olive A.M.E. Church in Worton.

“This commemorative ceremony helps us to reflect and remember our nation’s history while providing an opportunity to express our appreciation and pay tribute to one of the nation’s greatest men  – Frederick Douglass  – on his 200th birthday”, said Eric Lowery, President of the Frederick Douglass Honor Society.

For more information on the Frederick Douglass Wreath Ceremony, “Evening with Frederick Douglass on February 17, at the historic Avalon Theatre, and Frederick Douglass Day (September 22), please visit www.frederickdouglasshonorsociety.org or the Frederick Douglass Honor Society Facebook Page.

A full calendar of events featuring all of the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial events is available on line at www.fd200.org.

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