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Diane Torres Period 6 Douglass and the mournful Fourth of July

A sad fact about U.S. history is how for many decades it had slavery, and a large portion of the nation was reluctant to let go, but those who spoke up, like Frederick Douglass made it clear how wrong slavery, and there was a need to end it sooner or later. In his speech, Fourth of July, Douglass made it clear the irony of slaves celebrating the fourth of July, using allusion and established facts. Douglass noted the sad irony of forcing slaves to celebrate the Fourth of July with their masters. In his speech, he made profound rhetorical questions: Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence embodied to us? By asking this and referencing the Declaration of Independence, he reminded his audience which were probably all free whites and there individual views about slavery, why in the first place did they decide they needed a declaration: to the denunciation of tyrants establishing then in the declaration, freedom as a right of a human being. Douglass also noted laws issued were discriminatory to the freedom and equality they preached: There are seventy-two crimes in the state of Virginia which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant hed be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. By saying this, he shows his audiences how not free and equal in treatment were black slaves treated to. Something the fourth of July celebrated was the establishment of independence for all, and never said anything about distinctions, but of a

natural right of freedom. Those reasons he established, as why his people mourned such a day that was supposed to be celebrated. Douglass stated several reasons why the fourth of July was a day to mourn about and not celebrated. He made several allusions to the Declaration of Independence and also of some Virginia state laws. Perhaps Douglass didnt exactly liberate his fellow brothers from the chains of slavery, but through his speech, he ultimately motivated people to break those chains without taking care of what they would lose or win. And in the end, he won.