“In a composite nation like ours, as before the law, there should be no rich, no poor, no high, no low, no white, no black, but common country, common citizenship, equal rights and a common destiny.” ‒Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery in Maryland and used his freedom to become an abolitionist and one of the greatest speakers and writers of his time. Through his North Star newspaper and speeches across the northern states, Douglass worked tirelessly to end slavery in the United States. After the Civil War he continued to fight for the civil rights of all Americans who were denied their rights, including women and Native Americans. Despite his fiery temperament and forceful words, Douglass strongly believed in uniting everyone in fighting injustice -- "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."
Although now divided by I-35, the land for Douglass Park was the home of the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds from the 1890s to the 1950s when the fairgrounds moved to May and NW 10 and Frederick Douglass High School was built in its place. Most of the old fairgrounds buildings were removed except for the 4-H Club Building which still retains its 1932 Art Deco look and is now home to the Douglass Recreation Center. Today’s basketball court area was once a fire station and the playground area is built on the former site of buildings that showcased Oklahoma farm products.
The eastern section of Douglass Park was once the city’s Southside Sewage Treatment Plant but is now home to football and soccer fields and even a cricket ground.