We are Brockton citizen residents and volunteers who honor the legacy of Frederick Douglass in our neighborhood through community engagement and the arts.
In May of 2004, a street in downtown Brockton, Massachusetts was renamed for Frederick Douglass, an orator, statesman, and abolitionist who had once been a slave. Some call him America's first civil rights activist.
Not far away was the location of the stables of Edward E. Bennett. During the years around the Civil War, the stables were one stop of the Underground Railroad. At this location stood a sycamore tree which was the symbol of liberty for the slaves who hid in this building. It was also a place where great human rights activists such as Mr. Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Lucretia Mott and Amelia Bloomer addressed the issues of the day. In 2004 the tree had to be cut down due to damage from a storm. A slice of that tree is on display at the Brockton Public Library. A clone of the tree was planted at the Brockton Historical Society Museum.
In 2014, the 10th anniversary of the renaming of Frederick Douglass Avenue, our neighborhood association was born.
Our mission in 2014 was to bring attention to the 10th anniversary by enhancing the community garden and hosting community events to bring neighbors together in celebration and unity. Our year was a great success, and you can enjoy those events on our 2014 in Review page.
We are committed to organizing our neighborhood, effecting meaningful change, and honoring the legacy of Mr. Douglass and his connections to the ethnic diversity of Brockton today: he worked with Cape Verdean shipbuilders, served as Minister to Haiti, stood with Daniel O'Connell as Ireland fought for independence, supported Susan B. Anthony and women suffragettes , fought for equal pay for black soldiers during the Civil War, and is our inspiration as our country's first civil rights activist as our city and country struggle with modern issues of fairness, equality, and racial harmony.
As Mr. Douglass once said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress”.
Please visit our "2014 in Review" page to see our progress, and our "2015 to come" to see our dreams, such as this artist rendering of what our garden WILL look like - with the help our our community and amazing volunteers.
If you live, work, worship or play in our neighborhood, come join us!
Click here to learn about our "Stride Toward Freedom" project for 2015.
"In conclusion, my dear young friends, be not discouraged. Accept the inspiration of hope. Imitate the example of the brave mariner, who, amid clouds and darkness, amid hail, rain and storm bolts, battles his way against all that the sea opposes to his progress. You will then reach the goal of your noble ambition in safety."
— Frederick Douglass, Blessings of Liberty and Education, Manassas, Va., 1894