Descendants Host 206th Birthday Celebration for Frederick Douglass in Easton on February 17

Descendants Host 206th Birthday Celebration for Frederick Douglass 

in Easton on February 17 

February is not only Black History Month. It’s also the birthday of famous abolitionist Frederick  Douglass, and his Eastern Shore descendants are planning a celebration in his honor.  

Records in the Maryland State Archives show that Frederick Douglass was born Frederick  Augustus Washington Bailey in the northeast corner of Talbot County near the town of Queen  Anne in February 1818. Douglass self-liberated from Baltimore in 1838, changing his name to  avoid capture when he arrived in Massachusetts. He went on to become a renowned orator,  author, abolitionist, and statesman. 

To honor Douglass’s life and legacy, the Bailey-Grocè Family Foundation will host a 206th birthday celebration on February 17, 2024, in Easton, Maryland, featuring theatrical  performances, music, and art.  

“Frederick Douglass spent his life fighting for the cause of freedom, and his influence is still felt  today,” says Tarence Bailey, Sr., the five-times great nephew of Douglass and founder of The  Bailey-Groce Family Foundation. “We are celebrating Black History Month by celebrating  Frederick Douglass. This is our second year for this event, and we plan to make it a yearly  celebration.” 

Festivities will begin at the Historic Avalon Theatre at 3 p.m. when actor Phil Darius Wallace  performs his original one-man play, Frederick Douglass: Lion of Thunder. Wallace will be joined  by Millicent Sparks who will present The Harriet Tubman Living History Experience. Theo  Wilson, host of The History Channel’s I Was There, will serve as master of ceremonies for the  evening, and Push Play D.C. featuring Donnell Floyd will provide music.  

After the performances, Frederick Douglass family members will host a VIP dinner at the  Waterfowl Building, also in Easton. Saxophone player Azu, a.k.a. The Prince of Ghana, will  provide music, and the work of Maryland sculptor Richard Blake will be on display. Attendees  are encouraged to wear African-style clothing to honor Douglass’s heritage.

All proceeds from the evening support Operation Frederick Douglass on The Hill and the work  of The Bailey-Grocè Family Foundation, Inc., with the ultimate goal of building an African American Cultural Center.  

Tickets are $85 for the performance only and $135 including dinner and can be purchased online at Here!!. Donations can be  made to The Bailey-Grocè Family Foundation, Inc. at Shore United Bank or can be mailed to  P.O. Box 266, Newcomb, MD 21653.

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