Frederick Douglass' Speech For Individual Rights



Frederick Douglass, who was born into slavery in Maryland, became the most famous of all black abolitionists in addition to being one of the greatest American orators of his day. After the Civil War, Douglass prevailed as a passionate spokesman for the rights of blacks and remained a believer that their problems were capable of political solutions. His Fourth of July Oration is an exemplary illustration of Douglass’s human passion and commitment to individual rights.
The Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society in 1852 requested Frederick Douglass to give a Fourth of July Oration in honor of the 76th birthday of the United States. Although his speech was to have a connection to the joyous ...

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to them by the founding fathers of the United States, and there is no reason for the blacks to be celebrating the nation’s birthday. Frederick Douglass believed that no black man or woman should be satisfied until their whole race was treated like Americans, and not slaves. Until then the Fourth of July was a holiday which is not “theirs.”
Although Douglass’s speech contains the detestable, horrid facts about slavery and other important issues, he saw a silver lining. “There is hope in the thought,” Douglass said, after he explicated how America is a new nation despite it being around the “old age for a man.” Since the United States has just started out, there is room for reform and changes that will not have the chance to take place if America was older. People should be glad that America is still at the “impressible stage of her existence.” Douglass used the analogy that rivers are like nations. Even though a river can not be turned aside, “it may dry up.” If a nation ...

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Added: 11/24/2007 11:50:06 AM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1218
Pages: 5

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