Because slaves were excluded from any recognized involvement in Fourth of July celebrations, Fredrick Douglass had to have been an extremely recognized and respected individual. He defied the stigma around being African American and others acknowledged him as intelligent and well spoken. However, in his oration, What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?, we see him cleverly begin his address by expressing his insecurity and embarrassment towards his address. He continues to spike his audience’s attention through playing on their feelings of patriotism, commending the young nation and its founding fathers. After lingering on with appraisal for the past and capturing the intrigue of the entire audience, Douglass suddenly transitions into the solemn …show more content…
Independence Day was seen as a sacred occasion to Anglo-American citizens, and we see this doctrine manifested through the extravagant events orchestrated around our nation’s birthday. Public parades, orations or sermons, luncheons, firework shows, and formal dinners were some of the major commemorations that citizens celebrated. One particular tradition that clearly shows the loyalty and respect that citizens felt towards the nation were toasts. A mainstay of Fourth of July dinners, toasts emphasized the chivalry and honor that citizens felt for their country. Ten to twelve men stood at the dinner table, each one declaring validations of nobility and praise to the other. They captured white men’s elevated status as protectors and governors of their households, as well as white women as fair and intelligent patrons of refinement. Through this example, I started to understand the presumptuous, autocratic attitude of Americans during this time. This is the mentality that Douglass is facing and arguing against in his …show more content…
These events asserted the unrealistic unity of American people. “The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me.” (Douglass 2241) Anglo-Americans only acknowledged their traditional, ritualistic values towards the holiday, while completely ignoring the real underlying issues of slavery and oppression. This is why Douglass’s oration takes such a sudden shift when he discusses the present-day issues. He wants his audience to realize this holiday is one of mourning and sorrow for African Americans. By exploring the many festivities held on an antebellum Fourth of July, whether it was public sermons or odes to founding fathers through toasts, I exposed that the tone of Douglass’s audience was one of extreme patriotism and blinding passion. This discovery ultimately lead to a fuller understanding of the oration and the strides Douglass had to make to convey a message of freedom and
On July 5th 1852, Frederick Douglass, one of history’s outstanding public speakers, carried out a very compelling speech at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York. Within that moment of time where the freedom of Americans was being praised and celebrated, he gathered the nation to clear up the tension among slavery and the establishment of the country’s goals. Frederick Douglass’s speech mentions the development of the young nation, the Revolution, and his own life experience. While speaking, his main subject was seen to be American slavery. The “Fourth of July Oration” was a commendable model of Frederick Douglass’s affection and engagement towards the freedom of individuals. Frederick Douglass’s speech left an impact on his audience and continues to change the minds of those who read his speech today. I agree with plenty of dominant thoughts and cases he acknowledged in the “Fourth of July Oration.”
Frederick Douglass uses effective evidence and language in order to support his argument in the speech “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.”
Frederick Douglass was a former American slave. He escaped slavery in 1838, and to avoid re-enslavement he fled to England. With help from English Quakers he was able to purchase his freedom from his former slave owners in 1847; he then returned to living in the United States. Throughout his life he helped escaped slaves into Canada. At the time of the speech “The Hypocrisy of American Slavery”, Douglass had been living in Rochester, New York for several years editing a weekly abolitionist newspaper called The North Star. He was invited to give a fourth of July speech by the Ladies Anti-Slavery Society of Rochester. In the early 1850s, tensions over slavery were raging across the county. The Compromise of 1850 had not resolved the controversy over the admission of new slave states to the Union. The Fugitive Slave Act passed by Congress as part of this compromise was hated by the Northern states. Along with these things, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel about slavery, Uncle Tom’s Cabin had been published a few months before and became a national bestseller. Across the country people were thinking and arguing about slavery. Douglass was set to give a speech in Rochester, New York to a group of abolitionists as a part of their Fourth of July celebrations. The crowd may have expected a celebratory speech, but Douglass offered the complete opposite. He delivered an attack on the hypocrisy of the United States. Douglass downed the nation for celebrating their freedom and independence from Great Britain with parades, and marches while within the United States their still remained millions of African American’s still being kept slaves by white plantation owners. Is everyone in the nati...
Audre Lorde in her essay The “Fourth of July”(1982) asserts that freedom is not necessarily for all in the US. She develops her claim by utilizing situational irony, long flowing sentences, imagery. Lorde’s purpose is to show people the cracks in the ideals that the United States of America were founded on in order to get people to challenge those ideals themselves. She adopts a transforming tone to appeal to citizens who are not aware of racial issues that are relevant to them.
Frederick Douglass's "Fourth of July" Speech is the most famous speech delivered by the abolitionist and civil rights advocate Frederick Douglass. It attracted a crowd of between five hundred and six hundred. Douglass’s speech to the slaves on the Fourth of July served to show the slaves that there is nothing for them to celebrate. They were not free and the independence that the rest of the country celebrated did not apply to them.
Frederick Douglass was an incredibly influential part of the abolitionist movement. He has seen the harshest acts induced by slavery, even in the kindest of people. Douglass worked his entire life to get away from slavery and secure his freedom. With this new found freedom, he chose to speak out against the institution of slavery and inform the public of the evil truths that lay within slavery. He used wit, humor, pathos, ridicule, satire, mimicry, intellectual and emotional appeal to reach out to his audience in hopes of enlightening them (Douglass, July 146). On July 5th, 1852, he gave a speech to whites in New York about the injustices of slavery and how inhumane it was. He did this to open the eyes of Americans who had not been fully exposed
Frederick Douglass among his well-known speeches is “What to the slave it the fourth of july”.He had been invited to speak about what the Fourth of July means for America's black population and while the first part of his speech praises what the founding fathers did for this country, his speech soon develops into a condemnation of the attitude of American society toward slavery. Which ended in Sir Frederick douglass
The great civil rights activist Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on a Maryland Eastern Shore plantation in February 1818. His given name, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, seemed to portend an unusual life for this son of a field hand and a white man, most likely Douglass's first master, Captain Aaron Anthony. Perhaps Harriet Bailey gave her son such a distinguished name in the hope that his life would be better than hers. She could scarcely imagine that her son's life would continue to be a source of interest and inspiration nearly 190 years after his birth. Indeed, it would be hard to find anyone who more intimately embodies this year's Black History Month theme, "From Slavery to Freedom: Africans in the Americas." Like many in the nineteenth-century United States, Frederick Douglass escaped the horrors of slavery to enjoy a life of freedom, but his unique personality drive to achieve fairness for his race led him to devote his life to the abolition of slavery and the movement for black civil rights. His fiery oratory and astonishing achievements produced a heritage that stretches his influence across the centuries, making Frederick Douglass a role model for the twenty-first century. No doubt that the major turning point in Douglass’s life would be his fight with Covey
After his escape from slavery, Frederick Douglass chose to promote the abolition of slavery by speaking about the actions and effects that result from that institution. In an excerpt from a July 5, 1852 speech at Rochester, New York, Douglass asks the question: What to the slave is the Fourth of July? This question is a bold one, and it demands attention. The effectiveness of his oration is derived from the personal appeals in which he engages the listener.
Americans, the notoriously claimed ignorant people of society. The process of becoming a default American of today’s culture involves simple steps. Firstly being, one must purely neglect the notion of an independence day and replace it with a widely known date, the Fourth of July. This is the date people are required to set out and spend half of their monthly check on explosives compounded with fire of various colors to impress everyone for a mere thirty seconds. Along with this must come the obligatory invitation of family’s families sided with lawn chairs sprawled out across the bug infested lawn. However, if the person following these steps is anything but white, they must disregard the entirety of these points. For this day of independence was not fought all beings in America, but just the selfish whites living in the colonies who mindlessly used slaves to do their dirty work. Is this what being an American was and is nowadays? The concept of being an American is so extensively butchered into the idea of freedom, equality, and diversity however the countless ideas
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.
The speech I read was 'The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro', by Frederick Douglas. In the 4th July, being Independence Day, people celebrate it for their liberty, independence and separation from Great Britain. But all these joy applied only to those who were not under the burden of slavery, not to the slaves and Frederick Douglass, who was once a slave: “The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me” (Douglas, 1852). In this speech, Douglas reproved those that endorsed slavery and stated that it was not his plan to argue slavery since people were well aware that man is entitled to freedom, that slaves are men, that they are moral, intellectual and responsible
“Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.” Citizens of the United States of America grow up hearing these words echo in their ears. They see it in advertising, campaign speeches, the news, and any patriotic material. But this statement, this theme that those patriots cling to has not always been true for everyone. Frederick Douglass elaborated on this underlying contradiction and moral failure of the United States. Specifically, his speech, What, to the slave, is the Fourth of July?, demonstrates the concepts of the True and the Good as established in the Platonic framework as he pursues both concepts by proving their opposites to be true for the United States.
In the short story, “Fourth of July”, Audre Lord transmits the main message of how one should resist and retaliate when afflicted to prejudice. Lorde displays the message of prejudice early in the story when she describes the complications Phyllis had trying to get to Washington D.C. with her high school senior class, just because she is a different skin color as the others. Lorde writes “Phyllis’s high school senior class trip had been to Washington, but the nuns had given her back her deposit in private, explaining to her that the class, all of whom were white, except Phyllis, would be staying in a hotel where Phyllis ‘Would not be happy,’ meaning, Daddy explained to her, also in private, that they did not rent rooms to Negroes. ‘We will