‘What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?’.. Douglass’ Descendants deliver Speech.. video

“What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” …. ‘Frederick Douglass and His Descendants’ …. “!!

The U.S. celebrates this Independence Day amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic reforms. In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” which asks all of us to consider America’s long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans.

FEATURING (alphabetically) Douglass Washington Morris II, 20 (he/him) Isidore Dharma Douglass Skinner, 15 (they/their) Zoë Douglass Skinner, 12 (she/her) Alexa Anne Watson, 19 (she/her) Haley Rose Watson, 17 (she/her).

~~July 4, 2020~~

“WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS THE FOURTH OF JULY?”

I must confess I wasn’t aware of this historical fact and least of all who Frederick Douglass was. I think that the emphasis in my history classes was placed on other topics. It’s as an adult that I’m learning so much about so many things.

In view of the current times that we are collectively experiencing, I think this is the most appropriate subject I want to post about on this July 4th, “America’s birthday” … the Birth of A Nation.

HortyRex©

====================================

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a keynote address at an Independence Day celebration and asked, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Douglass was a powerful orator, often traveling six months out of the year to give lectures on abolition. His speech was delivered at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York. It was a scathing speech in which Douglass stated,

“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine, You may rejoice, I must mourn.” 

In his speech, Douglass acknowledged the Founding Fathers of America, the architects of the Declaration of Independence, for their commitment to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”:

“I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us.”

~FREDERICK DOUGLASS~

“What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

“As it appears in … full read/full credit”

https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/nations-story-what-slave-fourth-july?fbclid=IwAR2wylNEixC-SzTxrQxYFu8JcsO0uSvePbWEaO5XaEoDTAmtUvIsEcupivU

Frederick Douglass’ Descendants Deliver His ‘Fourth Of July’ Speech

The U.S. celebrates this Independence Day amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic reforms.

In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” which asks all of us to consider America’s long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans.

This video was inspired by Jennifer Crandall’s documentary project “Whitman, Alabama“.

Visit whitmanalabama.com.

A text version of the full speech is available here.

~~Published July 3, 2020~~

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