"School 12, which stands on the former site of the Douglass household on South Avenue, is officially being renamed the Anna Murray Douglass Academy. The Rochester Board of Education approved the measure Thursday night.... The Anna Murray Douglass Academy becomes just the fifth city school or program to be named after a woman, joining School 2 (Clara Barton), School 45 (Mary McLeod Bethune), School 50 (Helen Montgomery) and the Florence S. Brown Pre-K Center."As I said in my book, she wasn't anti-intellectual just because she couldn't read. She clearly wanted her children educated, and listened and offered comment on others reading aloud. She might be embarrassed at this honor, private as she was, but I hope she and her husband would be quite proud. Her children absolutely would be.
That the school stands on the site of the Douglasses' South Avenue home seems fitting. Her name is on its deed and all of her actions and others' comments about her housekeeping indicate that she took great pride in being mistress of her own house. Now, her name marks the building on its site. She is remembered in the landscape.
Might I also float a proposal? There are murals going up in various sites, including Rochester and my own home of Syracuse, commemorating Douglass. One in Rochester includes both Frederick and Anna. The Douglass children opposed Helen Douglass's plans for a memorial to her husband in Washington, D.C., believing Rochester the more appropriate place since it had been the site of his most active, abolitionist years and their family life. I would love to see a mural of the Douglass family, including the little daughter Annie, who died in 1860 just shy of her eleventh birthday. A grouping of statues might even top that.
Is there an image of Annie, you ask? Oh, yes, there is. But perhaps that should be saved for another post.