ROCHESTER, NY - Today, Senator Samra Brouk presented Dr. David Anderson with a Liberty Medal on behalf of the New York State legislature. Dr. Anderson is a founding member of the Blackstorytelling League, and of Akwaaba: the Heritage Associates which shares African American lore across the United States and Ghana. He is a nationally recognized historian in Black history, a renowned Frederick Douglass reenactor and serves on the Frederick Douglass Commission.
Senator Samra Brouk said, “Dr. Anderson has dedicated his life to teaching and preserving the legacy and history of our African American ancestry, and it is an honor to recognize his work and confer him with the highest honor of our State Legislature. The Liberty Medal is a rare, special commendation for exceptional service to the community, and I am proud to be able to present this award for his contributions to Black History, especially during Black History Month. Dr. Anderson’s contributions to the Rochester community, and to Black communities across our nation cannot be overstated—and the effects of his work and advocacy will be felt for generations to come.”
US Senator Charles Schumer said, “As a nationally-renowned educator and storyteller and Rochester civil rights activist, Dr. David Anderson has devoted his life to fighting for social and economic equity for Rochester’s communities of color. Through his work at the Urban League, Action for a Better Community, the Rochester City School District and beyond, he fought to improve educational and career opportunities for Rochester’s brown and black youth. For generations of people in Rochester, he has made invaluable contributions in preserving and teaching the history and legacy of Frederick and Anna Murray Douglass and their entire family. His teachings on the rich histories, societies, cultures and traditions of America’s African ancestors and the triumphs and sacrifices of their African Americans descendants to overcome slavery, segregation, and racism empowered and inspired new generations of Rochester’s brown and black youth to succeed. That’s why I was proud to appoint him to the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission to share his immense knowledge with the entire nation, and I am happy to celebrate and recognize his many achievements and contributions today.”
Kenneth B. Morris Jr., great-great-great grandson of Frederick and Anne Murray Douglass: "I send congratulations to Dr. David “Sankofa” Anderson for receiving The New York State Senate Liberty Medal. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor. On behalf of the family of Anna Murray and Frederick Douglass, I thank him for his unrelenting spirit in retelling the Douglass family story over so many years. I know my great ancestors will be smiling down knowing that he’ll receive this recognition at the Anna Murray Douglass Academy, which sits on the site of the old family homestead. Dr. Anderson is a treasure and light in Rochester and the world. We carry your torch forward. Thank you, my dear friend and mentor."
Michelle Daniels: “Dr. David “Sankofa” Anderson is the patriarch of Rochester African American history. His efforts include bringing the International Underground Railroad Conference to Rochester, preserving the integrity of historical events, mentoring future historians, and sharing his wealth of knowledge to our community. Dr. Anderson single handedly has lobbied for decades to make sure that our educational institutions, youth, and government recognize the importance of each member of the Frederick Douglass family members.”
Erica Mock, Executive Director, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives: “I have had a connection with Dr. “Sankofa” Anderson from the very first time we met, us both being Ohio Natives and our love of history. While sitting in his living room last year, he gave me a charge. To educate the children about the Douglass’s. I took him seriously, and I was obedient to the order. Thank you Dr. Anderson for your light, encouragement and guidance. And congratulations on your so well-deserved Liberty Medal Award We are all eternally grateful."
Rhonda Morien of RCSD said, "It is an honor to host this celebration of Dr. Anderson at Anna Murray Douglass Academy. I thank Senator Brouk for hosting this event with us, and commend Dr. Anderson for all he has done to educate and advocate for our community."
The award presentation was followed by an event celebrating the life of abolitionist Anna Murray Douglass at School #12.