Campus reading of fiery Douglass speech July 5
Join the Saint Michael’s College community on Thursday, July 5 at noon in the Durick Library Special Collections Room in a communal reading of the fiery July 5, 1852 speech in which the great abolitionist orator Frederick Douglass took exception to being asked to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
This is a participatory event. Community members are invited to witness and/or join in the reading. The sponsors will provide copies of the speech and cookies. The event is being hosted by the Durick Library, the Saint Michael’s College Center for Multicultural Affairs and Services, and the Saint Michael’s College Campus Climate Committee.
The Vermont Humanities Council is supporting (and has listed online) similar upcoming readings of Douglass’s speech around Vermont.
About Frederick Douglass’s Fourth of July Speech
This from the Vermont Humanities Council website: In 1852, Frederick Douglass, one of our nation’s greatest orators and abolitionists, was asked to speak at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In his provocative speech, Douglass said, “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.” And he asked, “Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?”
Douglass’s speech remains emotionally powerful and thought-provoking more than a century and a half after he gave it.
The radio program “Bon Mot” on WGDR at Goddard College hosted a reading of Frederick Douglass’s speech in 2017.