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New Disney Park Installation Showcases the Legacy of Frederick Douglass

Disneyland just opened a new installation in the lobby of the Main Street Opera House dedicated to the legacy of Frederick Douglass. The installation comes as part of Disney’s ongoing effort to tell more inclusive stories in parks and resorts, and there is no doubt that Frederick Douglass is an important addition to the pre-existing tributes to historic American figures already located in the lobby.

Frederick Douglass DIsneyland

Credit: Disney

The Disney Parks Blog shared the details of the new installation, referencing both the important work of Frederick Douglass as well as its location nearby the attraction, “The ¬†Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.” President Lincoln was one of Walt Disney’s personal heroes, and the addition of Frederick Douglass’s stories and artwork in the lobby will help Disneyland continue the legacy set forth by both the President and accomplished abolitionist.

Douglass was one of the most instrumental figures in the fight against slavery, as he learned to read and write prior to his own escape to freedom, ultimately making a name for himself as an accomplished abolitionist, writer, and public speaker.

Frederick Douglass Disneyland

Credit: Disney

The new installation at the Main Street Opera House positions a bust and portrait of Douglass next to the preexisting ones of Abraham Lincoln, to symbolize the relationship between Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation and Douglass’ continued work toward ensuring that all enslaved peoples in the country would actually gain the freedom they deserved.¬†In addition to the bust and portrait, the new installation features a framed copy of a letter from the U.S. Department of the Interior that recognized Douglass as a free man

Credit: Disney

Stop by the Opera House to view the installation during your next stroll down Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland Park. And if you are visiting Walt Disney World, you can see Frederick Douglass among one of the many Audio Animatronics figures included in the American Adventure show in EPCOT, in which Douglass recites a condensed version of his speech titled, ‘What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?’

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."