“Fellow citizens, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?”
In his fiery July 5, 1852 speech, “The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro,” Frederick Douglass famously took exception to being asked to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. What brought him to this moment? What did he try to achieve? Was he un-patriotic or ultra-American? Did he actually dissociate himself from American citizenship or embrace it with this speech? It behooves us to read the speech and learn.
Join us in a shared public reading of this masterful and rousing speech. Rain or shine! (If it rains, the reading will take place in the State House.)
Cosponsors: Mass Humanities, Community Change Inc., Boston African American National Historic Site, the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice and others.
For more information: https://masshumanities.org/programs/douglass/
📰 “For Independence Day, a fiery reminder” – The Boston Globe