On July 5, 1852 Frederick Douglass gave his “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro at Rochester, New York. Without pencil and paper and any other preparation, Frederick Douglass spoke from his heart about how he felt about Independence Day. July 4th to the white man is a celebration, while Independence did not come to the black man until 75 years later. During his speech, he spoke on some strong and powerful statements on things about why it was hard for him to prepare for his speech, how July 4th was not Independence Day for everyone, and also how knowledge then was darkness. When he first made a statement about how he could not sit down and compose something to say because he felt so uncomfortable about why he was chosen to delver a speech. I agree with that statement. How can someone be comfortable to speech on something that would make him sound hypocritical to his own people.
During his speech, he stated “this 4th of July is yours not mine.” I agree with this statement. While the white race was celebrating, the black race was still in the cotton fields or any where else still being labelled as a slave. We as black people did not get our freedom until “Juneteen” about 75 years later. I feel as if the black race, still to this day does not have as much freedom as the white race. Still to this day, colorism is still going on. Also, in today’s time, black people do not have the same privilege as white. “To him your anniversary is a shame.” Why celebrate a holiday that makes his race look bad? Why would anyone as a black person celebrate something and they were still getting treated the way they were treated, as slaves.
When one knows better, he or she do better right? Mr. Douglass stated that knowledge then was a darkness. As a slave, black people were not allowed to read, write, or gain any type of knowledge. It is one thing to be ignorant, but it is another thing to just not care. In today’s world this statement would probably mean more than it did July 5th, 1852. Black people would be so much farther in life as a race, only if they just knew better! White people try to hold black people black on purpose just to keep us down.
“America is false to the past, false to the present and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future.” Sit back and think about what this statement is saying. America is false to the past. So, does this country refuse to see the truth of its past? Is it still blind in the present, and will unlikely to start seeing things as they really are in the future? The United States has so much wrong doings, even back when they took the land from the Indians. In today’s time, the present president is making laws that probably will not affect the country in a positive way. This quote is simple, but yet its meaning is so deep. One could look this statement and get a different people of view.