Frederick Douglass Speech

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As a representative of slavery, Frederick Douglass in the speech, What To The American Slave Is Your 4th Of July?, denounces America’s disposition towards slavery, noting its emergence into a flagrantly hypocritical state. Douglass supports his denouncement by arguing that, to the African American slave, whether freed or not, the Fourth of July is merely reminiscent of the blatant injustice and cruelty they stand subject to every day. The author’s purpose is to declare that slaves are men as well, in order to slander the nation’s misconduct and unveil the great sin and shame of America: slavery. Douglass’s formal writing style addresses his audience of Americans who observe the holiday, as well as others interested in the topic of slavery and deception ー where America reigns. Within the introductory paragraph, Douglass relates that rather than express his gratitude for the abolishment of slavery, he leans to persuade and urge his audience to fight for the extension of the liberties described in the Declaration of Independence to all Americans. Douglass began by labeling Independence Day celebrations as inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony, questioning why he, one of many victims of legalized discrimination, was chosen to address the nation with devout gratitude for the independence granted to him. As the circular arrangement of his speech advanced, Douglass declared that he can not express felicity, when the shrilling wails of his people, those bound by society’s
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