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Independence Day Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

American abolitionist Frederick Douglass, circa 1855.

The History of Frederick Douglass’ Searing Independence Day Oration

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

By Olivia B. Waxman,Time  — After the Independence Day military parade in the nation’s capital on Thursday, President Donald Trump will give a speech at the Lincoln Memorial, the most recognizable memorial to his predecessor’s leadership during the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. And yet, alternative Fourth of July commemorations across the United States often draw attention to a different side of that story, with readings of the…

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Frederick Douglass, 1850.

What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? By Frederick Douglass

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

The entire speech by Frederick Douglass, July 5, 1852 — Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens: He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day. A feeling has crept over me, quite unfavorable to the…

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Frederick Douglass

Commemorating Frederick Douglass Day — Dr. Ron Daniels

By Vantage Point Articles

Vantage Point Vignettes Comments and Commentary by Dr. Ron Daniels — Many Americans have just concluded “celebrating” a protracted July 4th, Independence Day holiday. It is a time for vacating, picnicking, family cook-outs, parades, fireworks and lots of flag-waving during perhaps the most “patriotic” season of the year. As an African in America, when I think about the Fourth of July it conjures up the memory and spirit of Frederick…

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