Monday, July 04, 2022

Frederick Douglass's "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" in 2022

Frederick Douglass's 1852 speech in Rochester, New York, which he gave on 5 July, is now usually known by a modified version of a line from it: "What to the [American] Slave is the Fourth of July?" Recent political developments in the United States, especially the revelations about the events of 6 January 2021 and the latest Supreme Court decisions, including the overturning of Roe v. Wade, made me wonder about revisions of Douglass's speech from the perspective of such groups as Black women, LBTQ+ people, or immigrants (with or without papers), and I found one variation: Melishia Brooks's 2018 essay "What to the Black Woman is the Fourth of July?" (Andrew Shields, #111words, 4 July 2022)


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