Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington Descendant Finds His Ancestral Calling
From the time he was a very young child, the portrait made Kenneth B. Morris Jr. uncomfortable. The piercing eyes of the handsome African American man with the shock of gray hair that hung over the staircase of his great-grandmother’s Capitol Hill townhouse seemed to follow him.
“It was as if I could hear this voice booming down on me saying, ‘You will do great things, young man!’” Morris said.
He was 5 before he knew that the man in the painting, Frederick Douglass, was his great-great-great-grandfather and he was grown before he realized the significance of the legacy he had inherited from the great abolitionist and orator. If being a male descendant of one of the most respected men in American history had been be daunting, Morris would have faced twice the challenge. He is also the great-great-grandson of Booker T. Washington, the illustrious black educator and statesman.
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