The Frederick Douglass Free Public Library

In Washington, D.C., one of our most stately buildings is undergoing an extensive renovation. The Free Public Library, Northeast Branch is probably the library closest to Capitol Hill. And this red brick structure, with its stylish quoined corners, promises when it reopens to bring even more opportunities for study and reflection to this thriving community. We would like to suggest renaming this library after Frederick Douglass. Douglass was, with Abraham Lincoln, the greatest example of what nineteenth-century Americans meant when they defended "the right to rise." Millions of Americans, native born and immigrant, free-born and emancipated slaves, committed themselves to self-government and self-improvement. They recognized that knowledge is power. They sought to improve their minds in order to improve their country. We saw hundreds of colleges founded in the nineteenth century, including the first colleges for women and black Americans. We saw the vast expansion of the public...(Read Full Article)