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Local scholar appointed to a national commission commemorating Frederick Douglass

Dec 6, 2017

Sen. Chuck Schumer says he's appointed a Rochester professor to serve on the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission.

David Anderson, a visiting scholar at Nazareth College, will serve on the commission which will celebrate the life and legacy of the famed abolitionist and suffragist.

Anderson says Douglass' story is an important one to tell.

"We got somebody who was born into a system that regarded him as a moveable property. And, it's you know, it's just an amazing story.  Yes, he showed the way for a whole lot of people," he said.

Anderson notes that it's important to tell the story of Frederick Douglass, the family man.

This after his birth family was snatched away from him when he was a child.

Credit Photo provided by Senator Schumer's office

"Let's use this model and see what we can take of it to help secure our own families, and our own families' role in continuing to build America," he said.

That panel was created by the passage of legislation signed into law by President Trump.

The commission is charged with planning events around the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass' birth.

They'll also hold an official meeting in Rochester at a later date.

Senator Schumer issued a statement:  “This commission will immortalize a Rochester civil rights hero who fought his entire life for the emancipation, equality, and dignity of every American at a time when our democracy was far from perfect,” said Senator Schumer. “I am proud to appoint Rochester’s very own Dr. David Anderson to this important commission that will work for the next year to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Douglass’ birth and commemorate him as one of our nation’s greatest Americans.”

Anderson says he thanks Sen. Schumer for the appointment, and hopes he can live up to Schumer's expectations.