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History paper - Essay Example

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Born in 1818, his antislavery work gained prominence in the 1940s and is well known for his attacks on Jim Crow and his lynching in the 1890s. Douglass is well known for his writings and oratory which were staunchly against…
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History paper

Download file to see previous pages... Looking at the speech “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro,” he gave on July 5, 1852, one gets a sense that he is very unhappy with the prevailing situations and the apparent lack of progress in the fight against slavery. He poignantly enumerates the ills the slaves are suffering at the hands of their masters in a way that echoes someone who has witnessed and endured such ills. He says ‘… to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages … to flay their flesh with the lash … to sell them at auction… to sunder their families… to burn their flesh.’1 This clear enumeration of the ills shows clearly that he understood what was going on, having witnessed firsthand some of this ills. To him, the aspirations of the American as espoused by the American Farmer2 that the American has moved from servile labour and useless toil to prosperity rings hollow for this group of Americans.
The writing of Douglas, especially assertion that divinity and brutality cannot go hand in hand, and that one is either on one hand or the other must have been aimed at the radical abolitionists so well covered by Harris3. This abolitionist were mainly whites who had joined the blacks to bring an end to the slavery. The campaign was later to be taken up by religious revivalism with dominant figures being Arthur and Lewis Tappan4 who wanted to bring the religious approach to abolishing slavery through presenting the preaching of the bible that hold that all men are equal. The speech is inherently against the use of religious basis to perpetuate slavery through argument such as it is God ordained. But above all, he is very much against the fact that religious leaders, who ought to have known better, attended a ceremony to celebrate 4th of July knowing very well that there is nothing to celebrate in the country.
The intended audience for this speech was mainly the blacks. He wanted them to know that things are getting out of hand and may not change ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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