Two women have stealthily implemented the proposed name-change of Stephen Douglas Park to Fredrick Douglass Park:
This is the first time the vandals have spoken about their crime, which involved adding a very official-looking extra “S” to every park district sign in Douglas Park, a year and a half before Chicago’s Park District actually decided to change the name this September.
“It had started to bother me, and I would wonder, ‘Why is this park not named after Frederick Douglass instead of Stephen Douglas?’” said Vandal No. 2. “It just seemed wrong and obvious.”
Some incredibly persistent middle-school students from Village Leadership Academy were responsible for getting the vandals and many others to think about this.
It’s an insult for the park to be named after a slaveholder, they argued beginning in 2017, especially when it would be so easy to rename the park for an African American hero. They argued the park district could just add an “S” to the end of Douglas to change the park’s namesake from Stephen Douglas, the former Illinois senator who profited from slavery, to Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist.
The park district’s board of commissioners is slated to finalize the park’s name change this month, after Frederick Douglass and his wife Anna. Official signs are expected to go up after that.
Apparently Park District employees caught the women more than once, but, not having any instructions to fix the signs, did nothing. Welcome to Chicago.