Statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass torn from the base in Rochester, NY, park

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A statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass was uprooted from its base in Rochester, NY, on the anniversary of one of his most famous speeches made in that city in 1852.Police said the Douglass statue was taken on Sunday at Maplewood Park, a site along the Underground Railroad where Douglass and Harriet Tubman helped transport slaves to freedom.

The statue was found at the edge of the Genesee River gorge about 50 feet from its pedestal, police said. The base and a finger were damaged.

In Rochester, July 5, 1852, Douglass gave the speech “What is the slave on July 4”, in which he called the celebration of freedom a sham in a nation that enslaves and oppresses its black citizens.

For a slave, said Douglass, independence day is “a day that reveals to him, more than any other day of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty of which he is the constant victim.”

Carvin Eison, a project leader who brought the Douglass statue to the park, told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that another statue will take its place because the damage is too great.

“Is this a kind of reprisal because of the national fever that is currently rampant against Confederate monuments? Very disappointing, it’s more than disappointing, ā€¯Eison told WROC.

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