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Friday, September 17, 2021
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Tags What to the slave is your Fourth of July?

Tag: What to the slave is your Fourth of July?

Wanda’s Picks for July 2010

July brings to mind many historic events, such as Frederick Douglass’ speech at an event July 5, 1852, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. “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 sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity ..."

The fallacy of the Fourth: Should Black folks celebrate?

On July 5, 1852, the great orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglas delivered an electrifying speech where he posed what was possibly the most significant question of his time; “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” He received a thunderous round of applause. Today I still ask, Why do Black folks feel obligated to dress up in red, white and blue top hats and sing the Star Spangled Banner to commemorate a day when our ancestors were picking tobacco in the hot Carolina sun?