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July 5, 2018  

On July 5, 1852, the day after white America commemorated the 76th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence (although historians say the final document was actually signed on August 2, 1776) noted anti-slavery crusader Frederick Douglass, then a prominent resident of Rochester, New York, was invited to speak at the prestigious Corinthian Hall. Among the 600 people who packed the hall to hear the 34-year-old orator was President Millard Fillmore.

Douglass was in no mood for jubilation or celebration. The national celebration, he said, was a sharp contrast to the horrors and injustices the new “Americans” were inflicting on millions of others through slavery.

Leid Stories asks: Do the arguments Douglass made in his ‘What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” speech still relevant today?

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