Campus reading of fiery Douglass speech July 5

June 25, 2018
Office of Marketing and Communication
Douglass photo

Frederick Douglass

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.

See VHC’s full list of readings across 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.

Read a transcript of this speech>>

The radio program “Bon Mot” on WGDR at Goddard College hosted a reading of Frederick Douglass’s speech in 2017.

Listen to a recording of Douglass’s speech>>

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