The Frederick
Douglass Academy

About Our School.


Preparation - Proper preparation prevents poor performance

Respect - Respect ourselves, others and the community

Integrity - The quality of being honest and having strong moral principle

Determination - Demonstrating grit and perseverance in challenging moments

Excellence - Education breeds excellence in all endeavors/always looking and striving to do your best

Principal Fullerton's Welcome.

The Frederick Douglass Academy (FDA), serving the Harlem community of New York City, has had one very special mission since 1991: to prepare students from the surrounding community to succeed at the college or university of their choice. This is accomplished by offering opportunities for personal growth through extracurricular activities, providing support in the college process for students & their families, and ensuring a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for the academic expectations of the top colleges and universities in our nation.

First and foremost, college preparation is the primary focus for all students at FDA. In addition to traditional courses, FDA offers a wide variety of Advanced Placement (AP) classes in all subject areas, including history, literature, foreign language, mathematics, and the sciences. Students who take and score highly on AP exams earn credits toward colleges and universities. During the application process, this shows potential colleges and universities how prepared a student is for the rigors of college level course work.

FDA’s commitment to college preparation extends to its College Office where students and their families are guided through the college process. The College Office regularly communicates with students and their families to support them throughout the college process. The College Office also cooperates with the guidance department and teachers at FDA. From start to finish, the College Office strives to serve students and their families in the application process, financial aid, acceptance, and scholarships.

Colleges and universities look for students who are academically strong, but also expect well-rounded students who are involved in extra curricular activities. In addition to traditional athletics and student groups, FDA offers extra curricular activities that support all types of interest. From athletics to performance arts, to student groups and international travel, there is an extra curricular for every student!

Every single structure offered at FDA is an extension of our commitment to our students and families that college is not only a feasible reality; it is the daily expectation for all students at our school.

Our Namesake: Frederick Douglass.

Frederick Douglass (1817-1895). An escaped slave, Frederick Douglass became one of the foremost black abolitionists and civil rights leaders in the United States. His powerful speeches, newspaper articles, and books awakened whites to the evils of slavery and inspired blacks in their struggle for freedom and equality.

Frederick Douglass was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey in Talbot County, Md., sometime in February 1817. His father was an unknown white man; his mother, Harriet Bailey, was a slave. He was separated from her and raised by her elderly parents. At 7, Frederick was sent to his master, Captain Aaron Anthony, at a nearby plantation. There he first met a brother and two sisters. He later recalled sadly that “slavery had made us strangers.”

When he was 8, Frederick became a servant to Hugh Auld, a relative of Captain Anthony who lived in Baltimore, Md.. Frederick persuaded Auld’s wife to teach him to read. But Auld believed slaves should not be educated and stopped the lessons. White playmates helped Frederick, and he soon learned to read well. A book of speeches denouncing slavery and oppression deepened his hatred of slavery.

In 1833 Frederick was sent to work for Auld’s brother, Thomas, at a plantation near St. Michael’s, Md.. Frederick’s pride angered his new master, who placed him in the hands of a “slave breaker” in an effort to “tame” him. One day the two fought, and Frederick emerged victorious. Sometime later he wrote that the fight had been a turning point in his life. “I was nothing before–I was a man now.”

In 1835 Frederick was put to work at a farm near Thomas Auld’s plantation. In the following year he and other slaves plotted to escape to the North. Their plan was discovered, and they were jailed. Frederick was released and sent back to Baltimore, where he became a ship’s caulker. Once, he was attacked by white workers who resented the competition of slave laborers. They went unpunished because the testimony of black witnesses would not be admitted as evidence in a court. For a while in 1838, Hugh Auld allowed Frederick to find his own jobs and to keep part of his wages.On Sept. 3, 1838, Frederick escaped from slavery. With identification borrowed from a free black seaman, he traveled to New York City. In less than a day he was a free man. Soon after, he sent for Anna Murray, a free black woman from Baltimore. They were married and settled in New Bedford, Mass.. There he took the name Frederick Douglass.

FDA in the News.

FDA in the news exposes current and past events that the school was involved in. These are very historical moments for our school that has been capture to share to the community all the great work FDA has accomplished. Also a weekly newsletter is emailed to all faculties to keep the school community informed about prior and future endeavors.

FDA Partnerships.

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Established in 1997, the Ithaca College-Frederick Douglass Academy (FDA) Partnership is a collaboration between the College and FDA, a public middle/high school in New York City’s Harlem community. This partnership emphasizes collaboration on four major goals:To use the unique strengths and resources of each institution to enhance the learning environment of both and to help support one another’s goals:

• To foster a deeper understanding of the issues facing Black and Latino students by encouraging students and faculty from both institutions to cross cultural, social, and economic boundaries to work together

• To have Ithaca College serve as a consistent college “presence” for FDA students and faculty and find practical ways to help students with their stated goal of acceptance to college

• To provide Ithaca College teacher candidates with hands-on experiences that encourage urban education teaching.

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