Last summer on June 19, a crowd filled Emancipation Hall for the unveiling of the Frederick Douglass monument.

The people in attendance were there to honor one of the greatest Americans and orators of the 19th century.

Descendants of Frederick Douglass were also in attendance. The family of Douglass requested that Michael Crutcher be allowed to be the re-enactor of Douglass that day. Mr. Crutcher is the “Spirit of Frederick Douglass.”

Last year during the Juneteenth holiday, Crutcher was in Washington, D.C. This year, he will join us in Hitchcock on June 14 to bring the Spirit of Frederick Douglass to Galveston County.

While talking to Mr. Crutcher, he informed me that he was a boxing fan and a fan of Jack Johnson. He did not immediately make the connection of Jack Johnson and Galveston, but once the dots were connected, we had an immediate bond.

Mr. Crutcher was thrilled to have an opportunity to come to Galveston County. After hearing more about our Juneteenth Family Day program and Galveston’s very rich history, he agreed to reduce his speaking fee.

Bringing a historian like Crutcher to Hitchcock would not be possible without the support of many in the community. Many individuals and businesses have helped to cover his speaking fee, travel and hotel cost.

A special thank you to Claire Reiswerg with Sand N Sea Properties for agreeing to cover the speaking fee for Mr. Crutcher. Sand N Sea’s support enables us to provide the very best for those who will attend our Juneteenth event.

Frederick Douglass was an amazing and inspiring individual. He fought not only for equal rights for African-Americans, but also for equal rights for all women. The slave narrative of Frederick Douglass is one of my favorite books.

I often buy several copies of Douglass’ slave narrative at one time. I then look for children and adults to give a copy to. We will have several on hand to give away at our family day event.

Come prepared to learn more about Douglass and other historical figures including President Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Tubman.

Pay close attention to the historians. A correct answer to the questions about these three individuals might lead to a free copy of Douglass’ slave narrative.

You also might have an opportunity to take a photograph with these three historic figures. The thought of Douglass, Lincoln and Tubman together in Hitchcock is refreshing.

How can the story of these three individuals inspire us today? What can we learn from their lives? What can leaders today learn from Douglass, Lincoln and Tubman?

Freedom is something all three valued. Freedom is something they were all willing to die for. At the heart of the matter, freedom is what Juneteenth is all about.

Juneteenth celebrates the evolution of our country to a more perfect union. Key pieces to the puzzle that shaped our present are Douglass, Lincoln and Tubman. Come celebrate with us and welcome our visitors to Galveston County.

Samuel Collins III is involved in several historical organizations. He and his family own Stringfellow Orchards in Hitchcock.


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