Who can forget that moment when all of Black America collectively gasped during Black History Month when President Donald Trump described abolitionist Frederick Douglass, as “someone who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.” Huh? Did he think he was still alive?
Well, forgive and try to forget. President Trump recently signed into law H.R. 2989, establishing the “Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act,” which will plan, develop and carry out programs and activities to honor Douglass on the bicentennial anniversary of his birth. He was born in February of 1818 in Maryland and lived in the Anacostia region of Washington.
According to a report by Politico, the bill was initially introduced in the House by D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), and in the Senate by Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin, the two Democratic senators from Maryland. Norton hailed the legislation during an October floor speech in which she stressed the importance of preserving Douglass’ legacy.
“Douglass dedicated his life to achieving justice for all Americans,” Norton said. “All Americans have much to learn from the life and writings of Mr. Douglass, and I look forward to working with the commission to celebrate the achievements of this great man.”
President Trump had kind words upon signing the bill into law. As reported by Politico, “Our Nation rightly honors the life of Mr. Douglass, a former slave who became an outstanding orator and a leader of the abolitionist movement.”