In 1990, an unnamed artist completed a mural inside Douglass High School in Baltimore. The mural was in a corridor and depicted black and white scenes of slavery in the background, and a colour version of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass in the foreground.
Mary Patten painted Douglass Street Mural – Cityarts Workshop’s first Brooklyn-based project – in 1976. Over a five-month period, Patten led a group of 20 teens and adults to develop various themes for the mural that would be located on Douglass Street in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn - an area more commercial than residential at the time. Community meetings and bilingual flyers filled the neighbourhood in the hope of garnering community input and consensus over the choice of imagery. The three-storey mural takes advantage of the building's structure by presenting the image as book pages waiting to be read. The dystopian nightmare to the right-hand side of the mural attempts to encroach on the multicultural utopian melting pot to the left, only to be fended off by workers and important figures from U.S. history. Folded into the Puerto Rican flag and the red, white and green banner of the African National Congress, are the images of Harriet Tubman, pointing towards the nightmare-scape, alongside Frederick Douglass, Lolita Lebrón, Malcolm X and H. Rap Brown. Under the imperialist eagle and puppet-like figure in its talons, Patten depicts a recent firebombing that had destroyed the homes of several Black families a few blocks away. Speaking of the large rainbow in the image, the muralist incorporated it to show "what is possible when people work and fight together to create what we need: a community school that provides quality education; people sharing skills and tools; dancing together; making music and painting a mural."The mural sought to convey hope and determination in the face of oppression. But by the 1980s, the mural had become obscured by new housing developments.
E Pluribus Unum, “Out of Many, One,” was a mural created by Lewis Lavoie in 2012. Described as a snapshot of America, the mural brings together 50 different stories from American history, celebrating a diverse past. Located in South Jordan City’s central City Hall building, the mural is a collage of narratives such as ‘The Abolitionist Movement,’ ‘the Civil War,’ ‘The Creation of the New Media’ and ‘Westward Expansion’ for example.
In 1938, Aaron Douglas returned to Fisk University as an assistant professor of Art Education, and it was during his summer there that he, under the aegis of the Treasury Department’s Treasury Relief Arts Projects, created the mural Education of the Colored Man, for the Atlantic City Holmes Village Housing Project in New Jersey. The mural depicts a young Frederick Douglass standing before a small crowd—a civil war solider, a former slave, a sharecropper and a seamstress—who listen to his words. Behind them is a growing metropolis, representing the industrial expansion of the urban north. The art project was funded by the Treasury Relief Arts Project (TRAP) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
This mural was painted in the Bronx, New York City by an unnamed artist and depicts Frederick Douglass in the later years of his life, and the phrase "Education is the pathway to freedom." it had been destroyed by 2016.
Walter Edmonds memorialised Father Paul Washington of the Philadelphia Church of the Advocate, on the side of a building in the Strawberry Mansion district of Philadelphia in 1990. Father Washington was a prominent social activist in the area of Philadelphia.The creation of this mural is a good example of the call-and-response relationship generated by communities. After Walter Edmonds painted the mural Father Paul Washington, local residents were not satisfied with the likeness. As a result, Washington’s face was repainted by artist Stuart Yankell. Washington stands with arms outstretched surrounded by other local and famous heroes, including the antislavery leader Frederick Douglass.
In 1860, Frederick Douglass took to the stage at Boston's African Meeting House to give his speech, “A Plea for Free Speech in Boston.” Muralists Deborah Browder and Heidi Schork transcribed words from the speech onto their mural at Hammond and Tremont Street. “Liberty is meaningless when the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist,” Douglass pronounced in 1860. Three years later, in the same Meeting House on Joy Street, Beacon Hill, African American soldiers, including two of Douglass’ sons, were recruited into the Fifty-fourth Regiment of the Massachusetts Infantry under the leadership of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw.
In 2008, muralist K. Fitch painted a mural of Frederick Douglass in the abolitionist's former home town of Rochester, New York. The mural depicts Douglass in the later years of his life. It had been destoyed by 2014.
G. Byron Peck created this mural in Washington D.C. on the side of a boutique hotel called the Swiss Inn. In 2002, the mural was lost from public view when a luxury apartment complex was built next door, against the mural wall. The image depicts multiple stages of Frederick Douglass’ life against the backdrop of the American flag. In the 1990s, Peck became well-known in Washington D.C. after covering more than 300,000 square feet of the city's walls with his murals. Peck is now the founder, artistic firector and lead artist for all City Arts murals in the D.C. area.
The artist St George completed this stencil of a young Frederick Douglass in 2013. It had been destroyed by 2017.
Muralist Al Smith painted the abolitionist Frederick Douglass as a mythic elder statesmen for this Boston mural. Douglass had visited Boston exactly 80 years, from May 28-31, 1888, when he attended the annual convention of the New England Woman Suffrage Association and delivered an address on Women’s Rights at Tremont Temple. “My special mission in the world, if I ever had any,” Douglass told his audience, “was the emancipation of enfranchisement of the negro. Mine was a great cause. Yours is a much greater cause since it comprehends the liberation and elevation of one-half of the whole human family.”
In 2014, muralist Maryanna Donnelly created this pop art style mural at the Frederick Douglass Academy Elementary School in Los Angeles.
William Eduardo Scott completed this mural in 1943. The mural depicts a historical meeting during which the abolitionist Frederick Douglass advised President Lincoln to enlist black soldiers into the Union Army during the Civil War. A national competition was held for this mural commission, part of a series installed in the Recorder of the Deeds Building in Washington D.C. Artists were asked to depict episodes from African American history. Out of 300 applicants, seven were selected. Scott was the only African American artist. The subjects of the other panels were Crispus Attucks, Benjamin Banneker, the death of Colonel Shaw at Fort Wagner, slaves building bulwarks from cotton bales at the Battle of New Orleans, Cyrus Tiffany saving Commodore Perry’s life at the Battle of Lake Erie, and Matthew Henson planting the American flag at the North Pole.
In 1933, Cletus Alexander, a student at Dayton Art Institute, submitted designs for a mural titled Frederick Douglass Inspiring the Youth of the Negro Race. Douglass is depicted as a biblical, Moses-like figure with flowing hair and a white beard, wearing traditional red and white robes. Towards the top of the mural are the words from Langston Hughes’ poem, Youth: “We have to-morrow, Bright before us, Like a flame, yesterday a night-gone thing, A sundown name, And dawn today, Broad arch above the road we came, we March!” At the time the mural was painted, it was housed in the MacFarlane Middle School building. After that building was destroyed in 2005, it was removed, restored, and is housed in the Dayton Art Institute.
Painted in 2012 by MTC Studio, the mural depicts the black abolitionist Frederick Douglass shaking hands with President Abraham Lincoln. An older version of Douglass is offset to the right side of the mural. The mural site is adjacent to the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Anacostia, Washington D.C.
In 2013, Rahmann Statik painted two murals on the sides of a building in Beauregard Town, Baton Rouge. The murals cover the entirety of the building’s façade and reads, “Free Your Mind” alongside an image of Frederick Douglass, whilst the likeness of Harriet Tubman decorates the other side of the wall. Statik grew up on the southside of Chicago, surrounded by murals, and trained at the American Academy of Arts before working with Gallery 37 to teach mural creation to children. As of 2014, the mural no longer exists.
In 1988 David Fichter, with the help of volunteers, painted the Freedom Quilt Mural on the side of the American Friends Service Committee Building in Atlanta, Georgia. The mural was created as part of the Rainbow Coalition events during the 1988 Democratic National Convention. In February 2015 the building, owned by Georgia State University, was torn down – taking the mural with it. The quilted mural is thematically focused on non-violent heroes of history that struggled for justice and peace. It includes the faces of Mubarak Awad, Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Oscar Romero, Rogoberta Menchu, Leonard Peltier, Andrew Goodman, Fannie Lou Hamer, Daniel Berrigan, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, and Lucretia Mott. It also includes the antislavery figures of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. Tubman points towards the North Star. Multi-racial hands stitch the quilt together, joining heroes (both famous and unknown) from all strands of history.
In 2002, with support from the Freedom School Mural Arts Project, Parris Stancell created a mural in West Philadelphia titled Freedom School. The mural sets the faces of Malcolm X, Ella Baker, Martin Luther King Jr., and Frederick Douglass against the backdrop of the American and Black Liberation flags. It depicts Douglass in his younger years, and refers to Malcolm X as Malcolm Shabazz – a composite of his names in the latter years of his life; Malcolm X and el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. The mural also champions women's activiism through Ella Baker’s quotation, “We who believe in freedom cannot rest.”
Wilfred R. Stroud created this seven-panel mural in 1988 to be installed on the first floor of the Tubman Museum. It remains a signature piece in the Museum’s collection today. When the mural was being created, Stroud expained: “The purpose of this mural is to present a visual history of the black man and woman from the earliest times in Africa to the present times in America. The panels focus attention upon the impact of outstanding persons, and events that made a change in the lives and conditions of black people in particular, and the world in general.” Stroud dedicated an entire panel to the topic of slavery. Harriet Tubman stands in the centre, holding a rifle and surrounded by other antislavery leaders: Sojourner Truth, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and John Brown.
Ethiopian artist Mekbib Gebertsadik put the abolitionist Frederick Douglass alongside President Lincoln, the abolitionist John Brown, Malcolm X, President Obama and Michelle Obama. Titling the mural From Menelik I to Obama, Gebertsadik also placeed Douglass on a timeline of diasporic history that starts with Menelik I, the first Solomonic Emperor of Ethiopia in 950 BC, to President Barack Obama, the first African American president. The mural is a few blocks away from the White House at the Gospel Rescue Ministries homeless shelter, acting as a symbol of hope for those passing through. “Primarily, the clients we serve are African American and [the mural is] an inspiration to our clients of being able to dream” explains Earl Murray, Associate Director for Development and Marketing for Gospel Rescue Ministries.