The Meaning of July 4th To the American Negro
By Frederick Douglass
Delivered July 5, 1852
Rochester, New York
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 frame 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 they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory....
...Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
Hugh Hamilton is a professional journalist of wide-ranging experience spanning more than two-and-a-half decades in broadcast (radio) and print media. He is currently host and executive producer of “Talkback!”, an interactive news-talk-analysis program specializing in political discourse and public policy on WBAI, Pacifica Radio, in New York 99.5 FM http://www.wbai.org
Mr. Hamilton is a former news editor and newscaster with the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation. He is also a former interim Bureau Chief of the Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency in Georgetown, Guyana; International Editor of The City Sun, a weekly African American newspaper in New York, and has held correspondent positions with the Caribbean Broadcasting Union and Caribbean News Agency.
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