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Douglass on the Fourth of July

Douglass begins the speech explaining what the 4th of July stands for, and what freedoms were expressed on that day. Douglass explained how brave men fought for what they knew was wrong and unjust. He does this to reveal the pain that it causes him and the slaves of the country that have to watch as freedom and liberty are celebrated, while they sit in shackles. Douglass mentions that The Fourth of July is ours, not his, “To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony”. He asks if the mockery of the citizens freedom in front of him was intended when he was asked to speak on the national holiday. Douglass also uses the Fourth of July to try getting the crowd to sympathize with his oppression by speaking of the oppression their fathers fought. Douglass, always making sure that everyone knew he loved this country and had great respect for the men who brought it freedom, was shocked that americans couldn’t see the oppression that they were now responsible for. Because it benefits them, they are blind to it. 

 

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