It is carried on in all the large towns and cities in one-half of this confederacy; and millions are pocketed every year, by dealers in this horrid traffic. However, if slavery were abolished and equal rights given to all, that would no longer be the case.
It makes its pathway over and under the sea, as well as on the earth. Yet this is but a glance at the American slave-trade, as it exists, at this moment, in the ruling part of the United States. Thoughts expressed on one side of the Atlantic, are distinctly heard on the other.
For him, while it professes freedom, it does not give all people that right. In speaking of the American church, however, let it be distinctly understood that I mean the great mass of the religious organizations of our land. The manhood of the slave is conceded.
America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions!
As for those who maintain that slavery is part of a divine plan, Douglass argues that something which is inhuman cannot be considered divine.
He mentions the fact to show that slavery is in no danger. You boast of your love of liberty, your superior civilization, and your pure Christianity, while the whole political power of the nation as embodied in the two great political partiesis solemnly pledged to support and perpetuate the enslavement of three millions of your countrymen.
There, see the old man, with locks thinned and gray. I am not that man. You may rejoice, I must mourn. Their conduct was wholly unexceptionable. What arguments does he make to prove that slavery is unjust and that slaveholders are guilty of hypocrisy?
To say now that America was right, and England wrong, is exceedingly easy. If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages. If any man in this assembly thinks differently from me in this matter, and feels able to disprove my statements, I will gladly confront him at any suitable time and place he may select.
Yet this is but a glance at the American slave-trade, as it exists, at this moment, in the ruling part of the United States. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
While drawing encouragement from the Declaration of Independence, the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age. Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today?
I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Frederick Douglas proved his point. In this holiday special, we begin with the words of Frederick Douglass.
We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? I doubt if there be another nation on the globe, having the brass and the baseness to put such a law on the statute-book.
They are food for the cotton-field, and the deadly sugar-mill. What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Douglass concludes on an optimistic note. You shed tears over fallen Hungary, and make the sad story of her wrongs the theme of your poets, statesmen and orators, till your gallant sons are ready to fly to arms to vindicate her cause against her oppressors; but, in regard to the ten thousand wrongs of the American slave, you would enforce the strictest silence, and would hail him as an enemy of the nation who dares to make those wrongs the subject of public discourse!
Specifically, Douglass suggests that the good deeds Washington accomplished during his life—freeing his slaves, for example—is undone by the pernicious acts of those who hypocritically align themselves with his legacy.Yale historian David Blight analyzes Douglass's speech and discusses its historical context in an episode of the podcast BackStory with the American History Guys (scroll down to the episode "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?").
Jun 26, · James Earl Jones reads excerpts from Frederick Douglass' speech "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" (July 5, ).
--DemocracyNow: July. On July 5,Frederick Douglass gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held before an antebellum audience at Rochester’s Corinthian Hall. What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?
I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. While still a young slave in Maryland, Frederick Douglass taught himself to read, whereupon he discovered that he was as capable of thinking and reasoning as any free man, and therefore ought to.
Frederick Douglass’ passionate and fiery speeches were often published in abolitionist newspapers. His What to the Slave is the Fourth of July was published as a booklet on July 4, As we.Download