Frederick Douglass, “What, to the Slave, Is the Fourth of July”

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Tahtyana Jones
Mr. Powell
History 127 – Final
11 December 12
Independence Day, since the first signing of the Declaration of Independence, has been a nationwide victorious day filled with cheer in celebration of the United States gaining freedom from the British Crown. The Declaration of Independence stated itself that, “[they] hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are the Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” but what’s not commonly grasped is that the effects of the Declaration of Independence did not at all do what it was expected of. Frederick Douglass, however, did realize the results were unsatisfactory. The year was 1818 when Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born under his slave mother and master father into slavery in Talbot Country. Growing up a slave during the 19th century allowed Frederick Bailey to personally know the conditions of a slaves everyday life. Realizing his purpose, Frederick Bailey escaped from his master as a slave and vowed to serve for his fellow slaves by fighting for the rights and freedom he knew all the slaves and Blacks deserved. Following his escape; Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey became formally known as Frederick Douglass. As he planned, Frederick later moved to Rochester, New York and exhibited all he planned, to exposing the people of his nation to the true faults of the utopia imitated United States. On July 5th of 1852 Frederick Douglass was invited to speak to the public of the meaning of Independence Day. Titling his speech, “What, to the Slave, is the Fourth of July?” Douglass planned to notify his people of the reality of the U.S., to assist their naiveté into acknowledging the truth. Starting of innocently, Douglass mentions he is nervous about public speaking and how his presentation may not be as powerful as it became. During the beginning of his speech, Douglass...
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