Reading to explore the resonance of Douglass’ famous speech

Sunday, July 19, 2020 - 12:31 in Psychology & Sociology

Frederick Douglass delivered his famous speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” in 1852, drawing parallels between the Revolutionary War and the fight to abolish slavery. He implored the Rochester, N.Y., audience to think about the ongoing oppression of Black Americans during a holiday celebrating freedom. “Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future,” Douglass said. More than 150 years later, Keidrick Roy, a doctoral student in American Studies at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and a U.S. Air Force veteran, will host a virtual community reading and discussion of the storied speech at the Somerville Museum on Thursday as part of the annual state-wide MassHumanities program...

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