Frederick Douglass Was Asked To Speak At A July 4 Celebration. It Didn't Go So Well...

Brandon Weber

Ten years before the Civil War, the city of Rochester, N.Y., asked Frederick Douglass to speak for its July 4, 1852, celebration. He accepted, but rather than join in the "celebration," Douglass took it in an unexpected direction. Here, Danny Glover performs a brilliant retelling of that speech.

If you recall, Douglass was a freed slave who educated himself and became a noted writer, orator, and social reformer. At 1:09, he suggests why the idea of a freed slave speaking at such an event was...well...weird. At 2:22, there's a great bit about the "blessings" that all free people had but slaves did not. At 3:43, he really nails the rising sentiment of abolitionists at the time.

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