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Publisher's Summary

In 1852, Frederick Douglass, former slave and, by then, a leading figure in the abolitionist movement was asked by the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Association to address the group for their July 4th celebration at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York. 

Delivered, in fact, on the 5th of July, the speech caused an immediate sensation and swiftly became a seminal rallying cry of the abolitionist movement in America. The audience in Rochester included none other than President Millard Fillmore (along with a group of politicians from Washington) as well as some of the most important leaders of the abolitionist movement at the time. 

Through the years, Douglass' powerful words have only grown in stature, resonance, and importance. His timeless message and elegant prose have made this speech - here presented in its unabridged, original format - one of the greatest orations in history.

Public Domain (P)2020 SoundCraft Audiobooks

What listeners say about What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?

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  • Overall
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As superior a speech as any made in this land.

Douglass wrote and delivered on that day a cutting speech against whom no detractor could stand. It was biblically and theologically sound (upon which I stand as a seminary graduate), thoroughly reasoned, and convicting to anyone who possesses any remnant of humanity. Give one hour of your life to listen humbly to the delivery of this grand oration.

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Inspiring!

This is a classic patriotic speech. That reminds Americans why we fought for our freedom. Sound the alarm of the injustice causing hovac in our country.

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Excellent impassioned performance

I felt Douglass words as I listened to this. I recommend to anyone who wants to understand American history from the perspective of Black Americans.

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I loved it

I loved this speech. Frederick Douglas correctly called out Americans for not standing up to slavery. everyone should listen to this.

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Moved to tears

I was on the edge of my seat, devouring every word. The readers passion, and dedication to the work, rose as did the author's.

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Powerful

It's worth listening to multiple times to make sure you get everything. He was an amazing man.

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powerful words and a reality that is still present

Not much has changed from this time to now. powerful words and a powerful point of view.