The Hypocrisy of American Slavery
Who: Frederick Douglass
When: July 4, 1852
Why it matters: On the day marking American Independence, Frederick Douglass delivered a cutting speech denouncing American society. In the speech he demands to know how a people who pride themselves on liberty and equality can rightfully celebrate these ideals when millions are enslaved. Douglass chastises every American as a hypocrite, noting the irony in the 4th of July festivities taking place as he spoke.
Memorable quote: “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.”
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