Striking mural celebrates Black History Month in Edinburgh

Photo by Björn Olsson

Although it’s just outside the boundaries of Merchiston Community Council, this eye-catching portrait of Frederick Douglass by Trench One is definitely worth a mention.

The mural is located on the corner of Lower Gilmore Place. It only appeared at the end of September 2020, coinciding nicely with the start of Black History Month.

After escaping from slavery, Douglass became a leading spokesperson for the abolitionist movement. He stayed in Edinburgh (in fact, on Gilmore Place) in 1846 as part of a two-year trip to Great Britain and Ireland, where he lectured widely to large audiences.

According to an article in the Scotsman, Douglass wrote in a letter  home to his friend William White:

You will perceive that I am now in Edinburgh. It is the capital of Scotland, and is justly regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.  I never saw one with which for beauty elegance and grandeur to compare it. I have no time even had I the ability to describe it.

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