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Frederick Douglass: “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

In 1852 Frederick Douglass was invited by the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society to give a speech commemorating the Fourth of July.

On July 5, the crowds filling Corinthian Hall, Rochester, New York, did not get what they expected.

  • MOYERS on Democracy

One of Douglass most famous addresses, it is now known as “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

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…

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