Friday, July 04, 2014

Community Reading: "THE MEANING OF THE FOURTH OF JULY FOR THE NEGRO"



THE PEACE & JUSTICE CENTER INVITES THE COMMUNITY TO READ "THE MEANING OF THE FOURTH OF JULY FOR THE NEGRO"
A SPEECH BY FREDERICK DOUGLASS ON JULY 8th, 2014

(Burlington,VT) At 6pm on July 8th on the steps of City Hall in Burlington, the Peace & Justice Center will host a public reading of Frederick Douglass' fiery 1852 speech, "The Meaning of the Fourth of July to the Negro." Members of the community are invited to take part in the communal activity.

On July 5, 1852, Douglass, a former slave and leading abolitionist, begged the "race question" at an event in Rochester, NY, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
"Fellow-citizens," he began, "why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?"

By our hosting such events during the celebration of this nation's independence - its freedom from Great Britain and its tyranny, we invite thought and discussion about race and citizenship now, more than a century and a half later.

The Peace & Justice Center joins the Vermont Humanities Council and Community Change Inc. in this statewide effort. The text of this speech, as well as accompanying materials, are available online at the Vermont Humanities Council website, www.vermonthumanities.org.



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