Frederick Douglas Memorial Park is a 17-acre cemetery located at 3201 Amboy Road in the Richmondtown neighborhood of Staten Island, NY.
It was named for the man who escaped from slavery in 1838 and found sanctuary in New York from fugitive slave hunters. He became an editor, orator, Statesman and adviser to Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. He was one of America’s most famous runaway slaves. However, Frederick Douglas (1818-1895) is not buried at this cemetery. He is in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester, N.Y.
A prominent black funeral director from Harlem opened the cemetery in 1935 solely for Black Americans at the time of racial segregation even in our cemeteries. Today it is open to all races. However, in the past several years it has been neglected. With a new administrator and a group organized in 2012 - “The Friends of Frederick Douglas Memorial Park” – Patricia Willis, CEO, they are hoping to restore it to its former glory.
This cemetery holds the graves of some of the most famous and prominent Black public figures of the 20th century such as Elias “Country” Brown (1896-1037) a Negro League baseball player, Rosa Henderson (1896-1969) and Mamie Smith (1883-1946) Blues singers and Tommy Ladnier (1900-1939) a Jazz musician – trumpeter – just to name a few.