the meaning of july fourth for the negro
"I will not equivocate; I will not excuse"; I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just. He tells the audience that he supports the actions of these revolutionaries. In the fervent aspirations of William Lloyd Garrison, I say, and let every heart join in saying it: God speed the year of jubilee The wide world o'er! He had been invited to speak about what the Fourth of July means for America's black population, and while the first part of his speech praises what the founding fathers did for this country, his speech soon develops into a condemnation of the attitude of American society toward slavery. In every clime be understood, The claims of human brotherhood, And each return for evil, good, Not blow for blow; That day will come all feuds to end, And change into a faithful friend Each foe. But on THIS 4th of JULY, all American Christians, black and white, must join in praises for God for His Great Goodness toward the formerly enslaved Africans in America, toward Israel, and all who have been set free among the Israel … bookmarked pages associated with this title. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. Space is comparatively annihilated. Are you sure you want to remove #bookConfirmation# The Fugitive Slave Law, Douglass reasons, is "tyrannical legislation" because it removes all due process and civil rights for the black person: "For black men, there is neither law nor justice, humanity nor religion."

The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced. It is often studied in literature classes today. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour. The far off and almost fabulous Pacific rolls in grandeur at our feet. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. And while it advocates democracy in Europe and elsewhere, it does not grant it to all of its own people.

He condemns America for being untrue to its founding principles, its past, and its present. Frederick Douglass was a fiery orator and his speeches were often published in various abolitionist newspapers. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. In 1852, however, with hindsight, to say "that America was right, and England wrong is exceedingly easy." Similarly, he reasons, in 1852, people consider abolitionism a dangerous and subversive political stance. Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? Similarly, he argues that while the American Declaration of Independence states that "all men are created equal," American society creates an under-class of men and women.

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. Would you argue more, an denounce less; would you persuade more, and rebuke less; your cause would be much more likely to succeed." We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. There are forces in operation which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery. They were great men, too — great enough to give frame to a great age. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. out her hand unto God." Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? 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. Douglass recalls that when he was a child, the cries of chained slaves passing his house on route to the docks in the middle of the night had a chilling, unsettling effect on him. 136 0 obj <>/Filter/FlateDecode/ID[<3C7780BA671B97917FE6ABFD8C541D16><239814DFD2EC1D4A9AFC62D466D69409>]/Index[117 36]/Info 116 0 R/Length 92/Prev 94978/Root 118 0 R/Size 153/Type/XRef/W[1 2 1]>>stream For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens: He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. and any corresponding bookmarks? O! Declaration House |

No nation can now shut itself up from the surrounding world and trot round in the same old path of its fathers without interference. Here, he is likely addressing the president of the Anti-Slavery Society — not the president of the United States. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. But a change has now come over the affairs of mankind. Nations, particularly Western countries, in the mid-nineteenth century were generally against slavery. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. Removing #book# He concedes, however, that the main purpose of his speech is not to give praise and thanks to these men, for he says that the deeds of those patriots are well known. From Boston to London is now a holiday excursion. Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken?

Instead, he urges his listeners to continue the work of those great revolutionaries who brought freedom and democracy to this land. The Autobiography as Genre, as Authentic Text. "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic.


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