Frederick Douglass and Chris Rock

When Chris Rock made his deprecating and crude remark on July 4, 2012, I was reminded of the truly eloquent words of once-enslaved Frederick Douglass, whose lyricism still astonishes in the 21st century. On July 4, 1852, Frederick Douglass penned the essay entitled "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?"  It is a stirring indictment of the hypocrisy of Americans who could celebrate independence while slavery still existed in this country.  Douglass writes: Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men too-great enough to give fame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good...(Read Full Post)

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