Henry Highland Garnet Park at Druid Hill Ave. & West Lafayette

Oh, it was a beautiful day out today, and lucky me, I had time to go for a bicycle ride. It took me up to Hampden for brunch and the start of a new book and then down to Druid Hill Park, where I thought about T. and how much she loved this place, and how much the park will miss her. Today the reservoir was taken over by dogs and their humans for the Maryland SPCA March for the Animals. I tried to zip my way through and around the canines, but I quickly figured out this was a losing proposition and decided to head up through Reservoir Hill again, but this time follow the bike route signs. I found myself on Druid Hill Avenue and just rode it to see where it went. I passed some really beautiful homes–lots of brick and bay windows and a balcony or two. I stopped to snap a picture of Henry Highland Garnet Park at Lafayette. I got off my bike a read the sign, which you can’t read here. Garnet was born in 1815, the son of an enslaved African chief, but he was free. he became a Presbyterian preacher and lecturer who argued for armed insurrection to end slavery, though that part is left out of the plaque. Garnet also attempted to found a colony in Yoruba as part of the African Colonization Society. He worked to form regiments of free Blacks for the Union army, but barely escaped the mobs at the New York draft riots in 1863. In 1882 was appointed the U.S. ambassador to Liberia, where he died shortly after his arrival. He gave this speech in 1843 at the Convention of Free Men of Color in Buffalo New York: “Brethren, arise! Arise! Stand up for your lives and liberties. Now is the day and the hour. Let every slave in this land do this and the days of slavery are numbered. You cannot be more oppressed than you have been. You cannot suffer greater cruelties than you have already. Rather than die free men than to live and be slaves. Remember that you are four million.” Those are some powerful words, and they’re just sitting out there on this plaque. I wonder whom else they might inspire: “Brethren, arise! Arise! Stand up for your lives and liberties.” Indeed. I continued my ride, found out Druid Hill Avenue turns into Centre Street, made it down to the harbor where I took the entire lane on Light Street, and then rode back up the hill to home, another Sunday ride in the books.

2 thoughts on “Henry Highland Garnet Park at Druid Hill Ave. & West Lafayette

  1. That is very powerful especially considering the time period. He was a great man and it is sad that he is so unknown in history.

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