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On July 5, 1852, Douglass gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Rochester's Corinthian Hall. It was biting oratory, in which the speaker told his audience, "This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn." And he asked them, "Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?"
Recited by James Earl Jones
From Carlito Rovira:


One of the most powerful speeches ever given on behalf of the struggle to resist oppression in the United States was made by abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglas on July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York. It was titled “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

There are many factors which culminated in the political weakening of that vile slave system and eventually the 2nd American Revolution in the U.S., the Civil War. But it was Douglas' oration that ignited the abolitionist momentum with emotional fury and unveiled the hypocrisy of capitalist "democracy."

What is perhaps the greatest significance of Douglas' speech, without him being aware of it throughout the remainder of his life, is that the fundamental contents of his talk would continue to apply nearly two centuries later in the reality of African American lives. And what is surely to be most revealing about the racist traditions of Black oppression in this country is that it was extended to other people of color as well, in a systematic culture of institutional violence and super-exploitation.

What the 4th of July Means to Black People

Also, we must never forget that slavery still exists in these United Snakes, as part of the 13th amendment. We must abolish prison slavery now!
New York City Jericho Movement
Bronx, NY 10467

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Comment by Lola Denise Brown on July 3, 2017 at 11:07am

Thank you young man for telling the truth.  Fredrick Douglas is looking down on you smiling because you get it!!!  Now, keep working on the truth for our people.  We need to wake more of us up...sooner than later.  Stay true...Stay educated!!!

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