Frederick Douglass 'Speech' What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July

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Frederick Douglass’ speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” gave many enslaved and free African-Americans, and also white people, a new perspective of the national holiday Europeans created after gaining their freedom from Britain. Douglass’ main claim outlines and expresses in detail the hypocrisy of celebrating the fourth of July as a negro. Whilst it is intended to be a festive, patriotic day for most people living in America, to the enslaved black men and women, it is a slap in the face. He begins his speech by acknowledging the fact that America at the time had been independent from Britain for seventy-six years, and goes even further by commending the boldness of the men who fought for their freedom. Douglass starts the speech in such a respectful way, a strategic method used to captivate the attention of the people the speech is aim towards, in order for a change to take place.…show more content…
He shares, in detail, the contempt that he feels, because black people are not able to enjoy this holiday, instead, they are filled with sorrow as they are continuously beaten, raped, mocked, and are met with inhumane treatment. He speaks about the fact that one cannot label the United States as a free country because the reality is quite different for the majority of African Americans. Basically, Douglass’ tone shifts from flattery to intense objection to the way white Americans have treated their black counterparts. He even talks about the way churches and alleged “Christians” have also partaken in prejudice and racism against black people by not allowing them to join in
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