I believe Fredrick Douglass’s speech was as captivating and popular as it was because he was actually worthy, strong, and intellectually outspoken enough to mention the real issues at hand. Also, he spoke from a “Negro” point of view which was to not applaud but say how dare you. Douglass calls out the absurdity of the fourth of July by speaking to the audience and anti-slavery society. Douglass exclaims, “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into a grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony.” (Page 2151). Douglass asserts that this day means nothing to him but injustice and cruelty which he constantly falls victim to. He also goes onto to say that this day is nothing but deception, fraud, and hypocrisy. Douglass gives great claims of how slanderous they have treated us through speaking of American slavery and also, how they mock God singing hymns but still just destructive. Overall, Douglass doesn’t applaud this day instead he just brings greater awareness of the causes that have taken place. He does acknowledge that yes, people will celebrate this day but understand what it means to what was covered up on this day such as the disgraceful crimes committed. This was labeled the best American speech of all time because Douglass because he says slavery will be hidden to the world and because no one has ever intellectually spoken truth to our liberty, freedom, and pursuit of happiness.
When Thomas Jefferson included a passage attacking slavery in his draft of the Declaration of Independence it initiated the most intense debate among the delegates gathered at Philadelphia in the spring and early summer of 1776. Jefferson's passage on slavery was the most important section removed from the final document. It was replaced with a more ambiguous passage about King George's incitement of "domestic insurrections among us." Decades later Jefferson blamed the removal of the passage on delegates from South Carolina and Georgia and Northern delegates who represented merchants who were at the time actively involved in the Transatlantic slave trade. Jefferson's original passage on slavery appears below.
Freedom In Rochester, New York on July 5, 1852 Frederick Douglass, a former slave, spoke at the Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society on the irony of rejoicing and celebrating the freedom and independence of America, a country in which so much of the population was not free, but rather enslaved (Faigley 351). His speech was a fiery call to arms for the abolitionists at the meeting to not only concern themselves with the issue, but also to take action; not only to listen but to become engaged. His work was a powerful example of the anger, frustration, and raw emotion felt by the millions of slaves in the Americas, and how it could be put to work, exposing the hypocrisy of many white
Frederick Douglass was a man of great abilities. After escaping the submissive control from his owners, he fled to the North where he married and became skilled in the trade of caulking. Douglass then became intellectually competent about the antislavery movement, learning everything he could to achieve the upper hand over his white fellow men, and giving speeches to anyone who would listen. He was able to control a crowd with his magnificent oratory skills, leaving crowds of mixed-race audiences compelled to his thoughts of equality and antislavery. Douglass’s accounts of his life are harsh but compelling facts that human nature will always find a way to overcome the abuse that is given. Douglass himself was a true role model for all slaves, by being knowledgeable and optimistic that the moral decay in the social order that slaves were considered would end in the not-so-distant future of that time. The writings of such a great man are a true testimonial that knowledge is power and anyone has the ability to become powerful, despite situations that are oppressive and brutal.
Frederick Douglass asserts that he, as an adolescent "understood the pathway from slavery to freedom" upon his comprehension of English reading. To contemporary audiences, this may be a hard concept to grasp, an individual reared from birth as a slave understanding the significance of literacy and equating such with freedom. His cognition of this enormous concept can be explained as such: by breaking the literacy barrier, Douglass raised his status (symbolically) from a subhuman, slave status, to human, a White equal. Because all humans are entitled to certain rights, his symbolic progression from slave to human affords those rights, in particular the right to freedom.
Douglass believed American slavery could not be debated any further. On the Fourth of July this man had created a powerful speech, but...
Frederick Douglass’s speech was given to so many of his own people. The fact that Douglass speaks so harshly to them proves that he has passion for what he talks about through-out. “What to the slave is the Fourth of July”, compares and contrasts the different meanings the Fourth of July shared between Whites and African Americans. Douglass says “What, to the American slave, is your 4th 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”. Frederick Douglass was not striving for the attention, he just wanted to get across that the Fourth of July is not a day of celebration to African Americans and the respect he shared with them, having once being a slave himself.
Since the Revolutionary War our nation has been known as a place with countless possibilities. Why then did we turn around and enslave a whole race? The people that we enslaved were put through a living hell. One that we don’t and will not know what it was like physically or emotionally. In the year 1845 the very first copy of the book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass was published the author of this book is the man himself, Frederick Douglass. Around four months after the books first printing five thousand copies were sold (Railton). Those that bought it were most likely engrossed by what they were mistaken of. Those things being were what Douglass wanted the people to see. The things he showed us was the barbarity of the slaveholders to the slaves, and the affect that it had on both the slaveholders and the slaves psyche. He showed us this by establishing the rhetorical devices of ethos, pathos, and logos.
In Fredrick Douglass’s speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July,” Douglass proves the necessity of resistance by relating
He could not fathom how slavery was still accepted and practiced in a place that was built on the grounds of freedom and equality. Frederick Douglass respected and praised the signers of the Declaration of Independence and believed it to contain great value “The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.” (Douglass 3). Although the principles of the Declaration of Independence covered great importance, America was still untrue to their founding principles. Frederick Douglass encouraged his audience to continue the work of those great activists whom brought forward freedom and democracy to this land. With this idea he then progresses his main argument and asks the audience a rhetorical question: “ Are the great principles of political freedom and natural justice, embodied in the Declaration of Independence, extended to us?” (Douglass 4). The question was said not for the sake to get an answer but to acknowledge that freedom did not pertain to