Sam Lacy, sports editor of the Baltimore Afro-American, yesterday received the Frederick Douglass Award from the University System of Maryland, amid observations that the lives of the two civil rights activists nearly overlapped.
Lacy, 94, was born eight years after Douglass' death. Better he follow in Douglass' footsteps, Lacy said of the 19th century abolitionist and editor.
"Frederick Douglass laid the groundwork for my work in journalism," Lacy said at a luncheon in his honor at Oriole Park. "To be mentioned beside this great man is extremely flattering."
The award is presented annually to a Marylander who exemplifies the ideals to which Douglass devoted his life. Lacy, whose career spans six decades, was instrumental in the integration of big-league baseball after World War II.
Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke praised Lacy for "using his craft to bring about social change, much as Douglass did.
"Clearly, they are brothers in spirit," Schmoke said.
Also honored was David Roscoe, 17, the Frederick Douglass Scholarship winner whose essay on the life of the civil rights pioneer was judged best of 270 entries. Roscoe, a senior at Frederick High School, won a four-year tuition scholarship to any University of Maryland institution. He will attend Towson University.
Pub Date: 4/24/98