Let's Have Tea Statue
Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony were two of the countries leading rights activists and were lifelong friends and allies. To celebrate this, the Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood Association commissioned Pepsy Kettavong, a former refugee from Laos and RIT alum, to celebrate the partnership between the two. The sculpture, cast in bronze, was designed to celebrate the two rights champions in a modern way. Pepsy describes how "Our idea was to utilize history to get people involved," and that "It's a social statement. A black man and a white woman are drinking tea together. A Laotian makes their sculpture. It could be a metaphor for American democracy." The friendship that these two shared demonstrates the ability that values have to transcend race, gender, and nationality, and this statue celebrates that for many generations to come. This entry is part of a public history project developed by the RIT Museum Studies program in celebration of the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’s birth (February 1818). The statue, created by Pepsy Kettavong in 2001, depicts Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony sharing a cup of tea while sitting across from each other at a table. It is located in Susan B. Anthony Square Park, located across the street from the Susan B. Anthony House.
Backstory and Context
Tea Time for Two. RIT Success Stories. Accessed 2/14/17. https://www.rit.edu/success.php?s=24.