A repost of my all-time favorite Frederick Douglass speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July.” Have a great July 4th!

Civil War Emancipation

My all-time favorite Frederick Douglass speech is “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Douglass delivered this address in Rochester, N.Y., on July 5, 1852. In it, Douglass attacked the hypocrisy of a holiday celebrating freedom when millions of Americans were slaves. The speech captures well Frederick Douglass’ oratorical genius. Over this holiday weekend, please take the time to listen to an excerpt of the speech read by the great James Earl Jones.

To read the full text of Douglass’ speech, please <click here>.

Have a happy and joyous 4th of July weekend!

Don Shaffer

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About Donald R. Shaffer

Donald R. Shaffer is the author of _After the Glory: The Struggles of Black Civil War Veterans_ (Kansas, 2004), which won the Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship in 2005. More recently he published (with Elizabeth Regosin), _Voices of Emancipation: Understanding Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction through the U.S. Pension Bureau Files_ (2008). Dr. Shaffer teaches online exclusively (i.e., a virtual professor). He lives in Arizona and can be contacted at donald_shaffer@yahoo.com
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2 Responses to

  1. Reblogged this on Civil War Emancipation and commented:

    My all-time favorite 4th of July oration.

  2. Pingback: For the Fourth | Freedmen's Patrol

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