What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? Read by Douglass Descendants.

What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? Read by Douglass Descendants

To say that this year has been a year of drama, fear, learning, change and enlightenment is an understatement. And we continue with opening your eyes by sharing this short film with you today on the ironically named Independence Day.

What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? Read by Douglass Descendants

What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? Read by Douglass Descendants

In this short film five descendants (shown above) of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous 1852 speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” which asks all of us to consider America’s long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans.

A young Frederick Douglass

If you just wanted to see Flag-Inspired Art, Patriotic Photography, Celebrities wearing the flag… we’ve got all that for you. But if you’d like to go a little deeper than the aesthetics of the American Holiday, watch the film below.

The U.S. celebrates this Independence Day amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic reforms. In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” which asks all of us to consider America’s long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans.

FEATURING (alphabetically)
Douglass Washington Morris II, 20 (he/him)
Isidore Dharma Douglass Skinner, 15 (they/their)
Zoë Douglass Skinner, 12 (she/her)
Alexa Anne Watson, 19 (she/her)
Haley Rose Watson, 17 (she/her)

You can read the full text of “What To The Slave Is The Fourth of July?” here:
https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/what-to-the-slave-is-the-fourth-of-july/

This video was inspired by Jennifer Crandall’s documentary project “Whitman, Alabama”. Visit https://whitmanalabama.com/.

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