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This Is Your Fourth of July, Not Mine

  • Date Submitted: 12/07/2012 08:12 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 50.2 
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This Is Your Fourth of July, Not Mine
Frederick Douglas was an African American man who started off a slave and ended up being one of the most highly respected men in our country. He is best known for his work and contribution to the Abolitionist cause and Reconstruction. Douglas was a spokesperson for the African Americans of that time and traveled the country making speeches. Douglas was invited to give a speech to the Antislavery Society in Rochester, New York for the Fourth of July, but he insisted that the speech be moved to the following day. On the fifth of July in 1852, Douglas made a powerful speech revealing his thoughts and issues with the United States of America in relation to Independence Day. He explains his true feelings about Independence Day throughout the speech, “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelly to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license…” Frederick Douglas’s “Fourth of July Speech”, was able to portray the harsh realities and injustices of the African American culture, by exposing the hypocrisy in “Christian” men (who pride themselves with religion, freedom, and justice) as they celebrate on Independence Day.
In Frederick Douglas’s speech, he gave many examples of the irony and hypocrisy that the white men of America believed to be justice. He gave many comparisons to the life of African American men and white men, exemplifying how different the two had it. Douglas gives one example of the differences the Country has set for the difference races, “There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man, (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment.” By pointing out the differences in the law and punishments set...

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