the meaning of july fourth for the negro

You may rejoice, I must mourn. They were great men, too — great enough to give frame to a great age. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. Nations, particularly Western countries, in the mid-nineteenth century were generally against slavery. That point is conceded already. Instead, he urges his listeners to continue the work of those great revolutionaries who brought freedom and democracy to this land. 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. He tells the audience that he supports the actions of these revolutionaries. At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Douglass spends the next part of his speech pre-empting some of the arguments that theoretical opponents might make. Yea! Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? 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 … They were great men, too — great enough to give frame to a great age. Jefferson's Account | He touches on the history of the American Revolutionaries' fight for freedom against their legal bondage under British rule.

Start page | He reminds the audience that, in 1776, many people thought it was subversive and dangerous to revolt against British tyranny. The iron shoe, and crippled foot of China must be seen in contrast with nature. The Celestial Empire, the mystery of ages, is being solved. How should I look today, in the presence of Amercans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Douglass thereby sets up an argument for the freeing of slaves. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" by Frederick Douglass, July 4, 1852.

God speed the day when human blood Shall cease to flow! To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding.

For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. Space is comparatively annihilated. As for the mildly sympathetic spectator who complains that the abolitionist fails to make a favorable impression by constantly denouncing slavery rather than making persuasive arguments, Douglass retorts by saying that there are no more arguments to be made. and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us? The poem at the end was written by famed abolitionist and colleague William Lloyd Garrison, and published on March 17, 1845 in the Signal of Liberty an anti-slavery newspaper. Africa must rise and put on her yet unwoven garment.

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152 0 obj <>stream A speech given at Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852 .

He believes that anti-slavery sentiments will eventually triumph over pro-slavery forces. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. The time for such argument is passed. Douglass praises and respects the signers of the Declaration of Independence, people who put the interests of a country above their own. They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro by Frederick Douglass. 0 that he is the rightful owner of his own body?

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. "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. There is blasphemy in the thought. They that can, may; I cannot.

...Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. Related Information | Declaration House | Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is American slavery.

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