Reading Frederick Douglass

On July 5, 1852, former slave and the abolitionist movement leader, Frederick Douglass delivered one of his most famous speeches - What to the slave is your Fourth of July? In addressing a group of women who invited him to speak in celebration of America's independence, Douglass delivered a stirring speech that is as meaningful today as it was on that day in Rochester, New York.

For the past several years, on July 3rd, the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire has collaborated with communities around the Granite State to come together to read Douglass’ historic protest speech and to reflect on its meaning.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing requirements caused communities to amend the delivery of this public reading. And that's where the idea of this program was born.  

NHPBS and The Black HeritageTrail of New Hampshire invite you to watch and listen to this virtual reading.

Read the Speech

Discussion Guide and Educator Resources

Latest Updates

More Video

Reading Frederick Douglass (Preview)

Reading Frederick Douglass (Preview)

A stirring speech that is as meaningful today as it was on that day.

Related Shows & Specials

Race in America

Race in America