. Written in indignation, Frederick Douglass’s ‘Fourth of July’ speech held divided nation accountable « JO LEE MAGAZINE

USA TODAY/On the heels of America’s 76th birthday, Frederick Douglass, a renowned orator, abolitionist and former slave, criticized the United States for celebrating its political freedom while millions of Black Americans were still enslaved.

Douglass delivered his “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” speech July 5, 1852, at the historic Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York. The Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society had invited Douglass to speak on the Fourth of July, but he declined because, as he explained to an audience of roughly 600 free, white people:

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