The American Revolution and “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

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The American Revolution and “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Thomas Jefferson first used the phrase, “all men are created equal,” in the Declaration of Independence which is something that has been criticized as an immortal declaration. It is also a popular phrase that is a popular theory prediction of the United States Revolutionary period with great continuing importance. The American Revolution would help lead to the national holiday of July 4th and the birth of a new nation that would be celebrated as a day that marked America’s independence. In the nineteenth century, many of the American communities celebrated Independence Day with a ceremonial reading of the Declaration of Independence, followed by a speech dedicated to the celebration of independence and the heritage of the American Revolution of its Founding Fathers. On July 5th, 1952, Frederick Douglass spoke to his black community about the meaning of the Fourth of July. His speech was not to praise the celebration of July 4th, but it was to inform the audience that freedom has not been applied to everyone like how America said it would be. There are connections between our Revolutionary Founder book and Frederick Douglass’ speech that show the struggle of African Americans fighting for freedom before and ongoing after the American Revolution. I chose Frederick Douglass’s document “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”, where he touches on the history of African Americans fighting for freedom and what the Declaration of Independence really meant to his people. Frederick Douglass was an African American social reformer, orator, writer, and statesman, who became a leader of the abolitionist movement after escaping slavery. He argues that in perspectives of slaves or freed African Americans, the Fourth of July is nothing more than a mockery to its kind. He uses rhetorical questioning and…...

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