Frederick Douglas, July 4, 2020

Frederick Douglas, July 4, 2020

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”
Frederick Douglass (ca. 1818 — 1895), a speech on the twenty-fourth anniversary of Emancipation in the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C. (April 1886)

This year, descendents of Frederick Douglass read his powerful 1852 Independence Day speech “What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July?”


“How Black Lives Matter transformed the Fourth of July,” Peniel Joseph, CNN

“How Black Americans Co-opted the Fourth of July,” Livia Gershon, JSTOR Daily

African American Fourth of July



Top image (“Frederick Douglass, July 4, 2020” after an 1856 Ambrotype in the National Portrait Gallery) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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