What, to Black America, is Your Fourth of July

Posted on Posted in Ethics, Race, Social Justice

Every fourth of July, I consider it my patriotic duty to re-read Frederick Douglass’s stirring essay “What, to the Slave, is Your Fourth of July?” It is rather long (as speeches tended to be in the age of no television, Gettysburg Address being the most noteworthy exception), but it is certainly worth the time to read it in full, for yourself.

In the speech, Frederick Douglass flawlessly employs a dialectic to celebrate the principles of liberty embodied by the Founding Fathers and the revolution against British tyranny (thesis), lament that the existence of slavery precludes these principles from extending to Blacks in America (antithesis), and declare his commitment to bringing about Black equality (synthesis). This propositional paragraph still haunts as we consider the state of Black America today:

read more at Symposium Ethics … 

Leave a Reply