On July 5, 1852, the great orator Frederick Douglass delivered a speech on the “Meaning of the Fourth of July,” now considered one of the best speeches of the 19th century. Twelve years before the Civil War, and speaking as a man who had escaped enslavement, he pondered the meaning of celebrating independence when many were not free, were not even considered full human beings and citizens.
Join us as we listen to excerpts from the speech, and then consider together the impact of Douglass’ words not only on his audience in 1852 but on us today. How relevant are his words in today’s American culture? Our hope is that we are a place where we can have conversations about race, racism and racial justice that just aren’t happening very many places.
Want to enlarge your own and others’ capacity to talk openly and honestly about difficult issues related to race and other dimensions that are used in our larger culture to exclude, “other,” and discriminate? Interested in building skills and opportunities for developing authentic relationships across differences? Through sharing our personal stories in small groups, pairs and sometimes in the larger circle, we’ll continue our summer conversations about race, racism and racial justice.