WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today commemorated the start of Black History Month by announcing her event to celebrate the life of Frederick Douglass on Thursday, February 14, 2018, at 11:00 a.m., at Ron Brown Preparatory High School (4300 Meade St. NE).  A Norton bill signed into law last year established a commission to plan, develop and carry out programs and activities to honor and celebrate the life of Frederick Douglass during 2018, the bicentennial anniversary of his birth.  Norton was appointed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on the commission.

At her Black History Month event, Norton will lead a discussion featuring Ken Morris, Jr., the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass, Co-Founder and President of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives and a member of the commission; Frank Smith, Director of the African American Civil War Memorial Museum; and John Muller, author of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of the Anacostia.  The event is open to the public.

“Frederick Douglass adopted February 14 as his birthday, which is when we will mark the 200th anniversary of his birth,” Norton said.  “Perhaps more than most Americans nationwide, our city reveres Douglass, who chose to live most of his adult life here and became an undaunted champion for full and equal rights for the residents of the District of Columbia.”

A 2013 Norton bill placed a statue of Douglass in the Capitol representing the District of Columbia, making D.C. the only jurisdiction that is not a state with a statue in the Capitol.  Douglass’ home at Cedar Hill in Southeast is an official National Historic Site, which attracts thousands of visitors annually.