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July 4, 2020

Frederick Douglass’ great-great-great Grandchildren revisit his Iconic Fourth of July Speech.

A handful of Frederick Douglass young descendants—including great-great-great and great-great-great-great grandchildren—were asked to read excerpts of one of his most famous speeches, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

The original speech was delivered on July 5, 1852, to the Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society.

First spoken 168 years ago and this speech is still startlingly relevant within the United States today. I’ve long admired the eloquence of Douglass’ writings, but never have I felt them more than when I listened to his descendants read them in this short film.

Their voices were strong. Passionate. Intentional. These words weren’t said lightly or shared without meaning. While they come from our past, they have the potential to help continue to propel us forward.

Bonus: Make sure you listen all the way to the end to hear their thoughts about the times we live in, how the words their ancestor shared are still relevant, and some of their own words of wisdom.

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Molly Murphy  |  Contribution: 19,605

author: Molly Murphy

Image: NPR/YouTube