Visit Website After he was separated from his mother as an infant, Douglass lived for a time with his maternal grandmother.
Frederick Douglass was the best known and most influential African American leader of the s. He was born a slave in Maryland but managed to escape to the North in He traveled to Massachusetts and settled in New Bedford, working as a laborer to support himself.
Inhe attended a convention of the Massachusetts Antislavery Society and quickly came to the attention of its members, eventually becoming a leading figure in the New England antislavery movement. With the assistance of English Quakers, Douglass raised enough money to buy his own his freedom and in he returned to America as a free man.
Inthe leading citizens of Rochester asked Douglass to give a speech as part of their Fourth of July celebrations. Douglass accepted their invitation.
In his speech, however, Douglass delivered a scathing attack on the hypocrisy of a nation celebrating freedom and independence with speeches, parades and platitudes, while, within its borders, nearly four million humans were being kept as slaves.
Fellow citizens, pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence?
Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits, and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?
Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions. Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits?
I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the "lame man leap as an hart. I say it with a sad sense of disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary!
Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me.
The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. 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.
Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you, that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation Babylon whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin.
Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are today rendered more intolerable by the jubilant shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, "may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!
My subject, then, fellow citizens, is "American Slavery.
Standing here, identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this Fourth of July. 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. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity, which is outraged, in the name of liberty, which is fettered, in the name of the Constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery -- the great sin and shame of America!
But I fancy I hear some of my audience say it is just in this circumstance that you and your brother Abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind.
Would you argue more and denounce less, would you persuade more and rebuke less, your cause would be much more likely to succeed. But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued.
What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light?The Hypocrisy of American Slavery is a speech by Frederick Douglass (–) – a former American slave and an abolitionist leader – delivered on July 4, in Rochester, New York, during the Fourth of July celebrations.
Aug 07, · Frederick Douglass in his narrative, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” discusses the role of religion, Christianity in particular, which was written in literature known as the bible had two versions: true Christianity and the white Christianity that helped in strengthening slavery.
By Frederick Douglass July,4th, Summary of speech * Frederick Douglass' speech is about american slavery and how african americans are treated as Second class citizens And Douglass wants to put a stop to slavery.
Frederick Douglass () was the best known and most influential African American leader of the s. He was born a slave in Maryland but managed to escape to the North in The Hypocrisy of American Slavery is a speech by Frederick Douglass (–) – a former American slave and an abolitionist leader – delivered on July 4, in Rochester, New York, during the Fourth of July celebrations..
The speech is a contemptuous attack on the hypocrisy of the American nation, celebrating freedom and independence with . Douglass argues that religion is the center of the problem but also the main solution.
Douglass believed that slavery could be eliminated with the support of the church, and also with the reexamination of what the Bible was actually saying.