Tags Frederick Douglass
Tag: Frederick Douglass
This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhumane mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel in your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can today take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!
Required reading for Americans pre-fireworks and festivities should be an important speech given by abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass, who, in “What to the American Slave is Your Fourth of July?” questions this holiday which took place while citizens were denied their right to justice, freedom and equality. At the Oakland Public Conservatory, Michael Lange and youth wordsmiths Ayinde Webb, the drummer in the Frederick Douglass Youth Ensemble, and Jamani Williams will read excerpts.
Angela Davis called for a new movement to abolish what she called "the prison-industrial complex" in the U.S., which has become the largest jailer in the world. "Racism is directly responsible for the fact that the U.S. has become the great incarcerator."
We need to confront our racial past - and our racial present. In things racial, we have always been and continue to be essentially a nation of cowards. This Department of Justice, as long as I am here, must - and will - lead the nation to the "new birth of freedom."
On a cloudy Saturday morning in August, the sidewalk outside Glenn E. Dyer Jail in Oakland seems an odd site for a voter registration drive – but organizers are targeting an atypical audience: inmates and those visiting them.