The Slave By Fredrick Douglass Essay

873 Words Nov 18th, 2015 4 Pages
Fredrick Douglass was an abolitionist, civil rights activist, orator and journalist who fought for the equality of African Americans. In the speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July”, he discusses the meaning of the fourth of July to Americas black population which consists of mostly slaves. Douglass deems that people who are still enslaved should not celebrate the white man’s freedom. Slave are not free therefore; they should not rejoice in festivities not designed for them. Secondly, he condemns the church for not speaking out against slavery. Douglass gives the title “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” because he wants others to view the lack of equal rights, democracy and freedom of the very people who are oppressed: Slaves. He critiques the American ideology as erratic. For him, even though it acknowledges freedom, it does not give all people that right.
On July 5, 1852, Douglass deliver an oration at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York. There were 500 attendees some of whom were slave owners, politicians and abolitionists. He commemorated the signing of The Declaration of Independence, yet discussed the real meaning of slavery and its effects. Douglass proclaims his agreement with the actions of the founders and embraces the principles of the Revolution to create a bond with his audience and to reassure them, to some degree at least, he participates in the American political tradition. Although most of the audience are white, Douglass does not let that…

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