The 4th of July for a Slave

I read this yesterday and it’s one of the most eloquent and damning speeches I’ve ever read. I can only imagine what it would have been like to hear Frederick Douglass give it in person. You should read the whole thing, but here’s my favorite paragraph:
bq. What, to the American slave, is your Fourth 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. 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 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.

One Reply to “The 4th of July for a Slave”

  1. “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” is a great read. It was written by himself and describes his life from slavery to a free man. I’d be happy to loan my copy out.

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