Professor, poet laureate Frederick-Douglass Knowles II to receive Norwich NAACP award

Norwich — Frederick-Douglass Knowles II will receive the Virginia D. Christian Educator of the Year award from the Norwich NAACP at the branch's 56th annual Freedom Fund Dinner on Thursday.

Three Rivers Community College, where Knowles has taught English for 12 years, announced the recognition in a news release last week.

Knowles said in the news release it was an "esteemed honor" to receive an award and noted that his late grandmother Martha Montgomery was an active member of the NAACP for more than 40 years.

The Freedom Fund Dinner recognizes those who have contributed to civil rights and racial justice in Norwich. The award was named for a nuclear engineer who was a charter member of the branch, the first black person on a council in New London County, and first black person appointed to the state Board of Education, according to the press release.

Knowles was named Hartford's first Poet Laureate last year. He also teaches classes at a local prison and co-founded the Men Against Domestic Violence Artistic Expression annual event.

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