What to the slave is the fourth of july [a] is the popular title now given to an untitled speech by frederick douglass delivered on july 5, 1852, in corinthian hall, rochester, new york, addressing the rochester ladies' anti-slavery society. James earl jones reads frederick douglass’s historic speech story july 03, 2015 watch full show watch full show next story listen what, to the american slave, is your fourth of july i.
One of douglass' critical points in the speech is the idea that america has become desensitized to its hypocrisy for douglass, this is what has become of white citizens in the north a nation.
Fortunately, douglass concludes his speech, not on a bitter note, but on an optimistic one placing his hopes in the youthfulness of america, and the increasingly secular globalized world, douglass believes that change is not only possible, but inevitable. The first half of the speech, in line with the festive occasion, underscores the significance july 4th holds for the american people as douglass notes, july 4th, to the american people, is both a symbolic marker of their “great deliverance” from great britain, and a day to celebrate another happy year of “national life.
The speech “what to the slave is the fourth of july” opens with frederick douglas explaining how he was asked to give a speech on the fourth of july he then gives a brief statement about how hard his journey has been and now he. The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which i escaped, is considerable — and the difficulties to be overcome in getting from the latter to the former, are by no means slight. Frederick douglass was a fiery orator and his speeches were often published in various abolitionist newspapers among his well-known speeches is the meaning of july fourth for the negro, presented in rochester, new york, on july 5, 1852, a version of which he published as a booklet.
In “what to the slave is the fourth of july” frederick douglass sought not only to convince people of the wrongfulness of slavery but also to make abolition more acceptable to northern whites frederick douglass, ca 1855, metropolitan museum of art.