NH Communities Read Frederick Douglass

From: Black Heritage Trail of NH

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist and heroic orator for liberty, delivered one of his most famous speeches in which he asked, “What to the slave is your Fourth of July?” In addressing an Independence Day observance in Rochester, New York, his speech was a blistering indictment of an American idealism that ignored and accepted the inhuman treatment of enslaved African Americans as part of the country’s identity and economy. Ironically, even though Douglass’ words spoke directly to this moment in history, they still ring with an unsettling power today.

For the past several years, on July 3rd, the BHTNH has collaborated with community leaders around the Granite State to bring people together to read Douglass’ historic protest speech and to reflect on its meaning.

While reading Frederick Douglass’ work is a powerful experience for many, it is only one piece of the long-overdue conversations that our communities need to have. We hope that these readings will be a starting point for these difficult dialogues and that they will provide an opportunity for us to engage in deeper conversations that will lead to actions to help build more inclusive and just communities today.

LIVE/IN PERSON COMMUNITY READINGS & LOCATIONS
Saturday, JULY 3, 2021

Views Abridged Version Here (this one used for community read)
View Full Speech Here (English)
View Full Speech Here (Spanish)

Watch the New Hampshire PBS special from July 2020.


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