TGR: Guest Editorial: Fred's Army ... on the Eastern Shore of Maryland
FRED’S ARMY FIGHTS BACK
The Struggle to erect a statue of Frederick Douglass in the county of his birth escalates
When Moonyene Jackson-Amis founded the Frederick Douglass Memorial Action Coalition “Fred’s Army”, in Easton, Talbot County, Maryland for the purpose of memorializing the legacy of the renowned freedom fighter with the placement of his statue on the front courthouse lawn, she had no idea of the relentless opposition that she would face. Originally, the County Council, stewards over the public land, denied Fred’s Army permission to place the statue there. After an organized and determined opposition, Fred’s Army won that battle. Frederick Douglass is Easton-Talbot County’s most notable and historic figure.
Two years of stalling tactics by the County Council prevented completion of the statue by Fred’s Army. Currently, Talbot County and Easton elected officials have placed obstacles in the pathway of Fred’s Army that are undoubtedly based on the racist attitudes of its members,” said Jackson-Amis. Council tactics have refused to allow the African American Archeologists, Dr. Anna Agbe-Davies and Alexandra Jones access to the courthouse grounds to complete a required survey. Constantly, the Council changed the design requirements for the statue and after Fred’s Army had fully complied with the changes directed by Council, it then refused to give permission for the installation of the statue. Then the Town of Easton replaced the commissioned African -American, sculptor, Ed Dwight, who had been selected by a Blue Ribbon panel of judges, not involved with Fred’s Army. Even though Mr. Dwight was paid a $40,000 retainer, the Council replaced him with Caucasian sculptor, Jay Hall Carpenter, who dropped out of the competition, held to select the sculptor to erect the statue. The Town then diverted most funds raised by Fred’s Army for this project to the town authority after some highly questionable court and misleading legislative maneuvering in order to remove Fred’s Army and Ms. Jackson-Amis (African-American) from the project. “The Town sees Douglass as a cash cow that will bring many visitors to Easton. during the Fall Town 300th year celebration. The irony, sons and daughters of those who enslaved Douglass, are determined to derail the earnest effort to honor his life and legacy, for their own aggrandizement and benefit”. A few Blacks will cooperative with the oppressor. All too often, history repeats itself.” Jackson-Amis said.
All of the funds, for the statue, ($400,000) were raised by Fred’s Army without any financial contributions from the county or the town. Since Fred’s Army, is a non profit fledgling organization, funds were deposited with the town of Easton with the agreement, understanding and belief that its only fiduciary responsibility was to deposit funds on behalf of Fred’ Army and dispense funds on behalf of Fred’s Army as directed and as needed.
Instead, the Mayor and Town Council have organized a coup rifled with lies and deliberate mis-statements that led them to now seize the funds raised by Fred’s Army only to finance their own plan.
“Fred’s Army needs help to stop this travesty. The actions of town and county officials are nothing short of a tyranny”, declared Jackson Amis. Frederick Douglass said “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose”.
“In the spirit of Frederick Douglass and our own ancestors, Fred’s Army is fighting back”, she continued, “seeking justice in the Maryland Courts”. Presently, the matter is before the Talbot County Circuit Court. Fred’s Army requests letters and emails of protest sent directly to Talbot County Council, 11 North Washington Street, Easton, Maryland, 21601
or email Acting County Manager Clay Stamp email@example.com and to the Easton Town Council, 14 South Harrison Street, Easton, Maryland 21601
or e-mail to Town Clerk Kathy Ruf, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fred’s Army demands that total control of this historic project be returned to Fred’s Army and that Fred’s Army be allowed to complete the installation at the site of the courthouse grounds. Some members of Fred’s Army are willing and available to travel for purposes of informing interested communities of the struggle and of inviting them to join Fred’s Army. Fred’s Army is in need of financial support for the legal defense fund. Please send checks or money orders to: Frederick Douglass Memorial Action Coalition – legal fund, P.O. Box 876, Easton, Maryland 21601
For additional information contact: email@example.com or Moonyene Jackson-Amis, Moonyene@gmail.com 120 Port Street, Easton, Maryland 21601
What do you think?
2 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.
It is unconscionable and absolutely illegal for the elected officials of Easton, Talbot County, Maryland - and their cohorts, to conspire to steal the dream, vision, work and labor,funding for the Fredrick Douglas Memorial Statute. They should all individually and collectively be exposed and made to answer in a court of law, for their malicious crimes which were committed for the sole purpose of making money for themselves -- from the name and life of Fredrick Douglas. The creation and inception of Fred's Army is the highlight of the life's work of Ms Jackson-Amis. She has worked tirelessly for the rights of others- and at this point in her life, she is faced with others cheating and lying in order to steal from her and the associates of Fred's Army.
I'm hoping the press coverage will serve two agendas.That of reclaiming a New Movement(Fred's Army),as well as waking up those who are blindly allowing the powers that be to "play chess" with a mans character that so many people of differing races and hues look up to as a symbol of Freedom from discrimination.I'm with you Moon even if we stand alone.