“Inhuman mockery and Sacrilegious irony!” This is the description The Fourth of July received from one of the many heads of the abolitionist movement. The day commemorated by many Americans as a day to celebrate freedom and independence was described by Frederick Douglass as ”bombast fraud.” through the use of rhetorical questions, emotional appeals and visual imagery Douglass hammered to expose to his audience the hypocrisy of their celebrations. Angered by the persistence of slavery (Woodbridge Commentary), Douglass denounced the hypocrisy he saw in American society, represented forcefully by The Fourth of July, at the 76th anniversary of The Declaration of Independence (Frederick Douglass). Standing before a gathering of the ladies’ anti-slavery society in Rochester, NY Frederick moved his audience with the force of his argument when he Posed the question “What, to the slave, is the fourth of july?” Beginning his speech, Douglass leads in with clear intentions making it clear: “I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of republic...the point from which I am compelled to view them is not the most favorable.” Douglass’ goal was not to discredit them for the men that they were or the works that they did; he actually does the exact opposite and credits them for laying the frame of a great age; but to honor the memory of them through a different pair of lens’. Douglass moves into the beginning of the argument with “Fellow Citizens...” and continues to do this throughout his speech. He coins this starting line to equal the playing field, lowering those that think they are above the african-americans from their pedestals and to point out the view of all of their equality in Gods eyes. He follows this sentence with a series of questions in order to outline the goals he wishes to reach in his speech. Douglass’ first line articulates the purpose of his speech: “What have I, or those I...
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