1. The Introductory Paragraph

Published: 2023-01-03
1. The Introductory Paragraph
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  Education Environment Technology Ethics Human
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1008 words
9 min read

The introductory part of the speech was captivating to me because of the way Fredrick Douglass introduces his theme. It is a day when American independence is supposed to be celebrated, and Douglass naturally is expected to speak about America's progress as a whole. Instead, Douglass makes it clear from the onset that he is not on the podium to glorify what Americans have achieved. When you read this part, it vividly gives you a sense of perspective from the onset of what Douglass wants to speak.

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2. Invoking God

Douglass proceeds from his introduction by referring to God and his relationship with the entire human race as a whole. When you stop to interpret his words, it becomes clear to you that Douglass wanted to lay a background for his speech by reaffirming that all human beings were created equal and deserve equal treatment by fellow human beings as spelled out in the American independence documents.

3. White Privilege

This part describes the independence celebrations as an activity that has been reserved for observed by white only. Reading through this part makes me feel that Douglass wanted to inform the audience of the race issue in the United States at the time. To me, this section is crucial in the speech as it underscores the fact that the fruits of independence have only been enjoyed by white people, which is the cause of despondency in Douglass' words. In my view, Douglass never wanted to go for political correctness but aimed at speaking his mind about the question of racial inequalities.

4. Bible Reference of Freedom

This takes place in paragraph five. He cites the books of Psalms and, as I read through the speech, it becomes apparent to my mind that Douglass was talking about the tribulations of Israelites when they were banished from their own land. This stands out for me as it creates a metaphor of the situation black people faced at the time.

5. The Discussion of Liberty and Prosperity

In this part, Douglass explores the relationship between liberty and prosperity. He contrasts the prosperous life of white people realized as a result of liberty and the misery of black people who continue to straggle under the chains of a racially divisive society. When decoding Douglass's message, I can discern his attempt to classify liberty as an achievement for white people.

6. American Slavery

The discussion of slavery comes out as the most troubling issue for Douglass. Douglass expresses disappointment that slavery is being practiced in a country that has been declared as free. Where the speaker impresses most in this section is when he says that the fourth of July is a legacy of slavery; that there is no point in glorifying freedom when actually that freedom does not exist for black people. His discussion is revealing as it helps me understand the contradictions that surrounded the term liberty in 19th century America.

7. Adoption of Radical Measures to End Slavery

This part is vital in delivering the primary message of the speech. If you examine the Douglass' choice of words carefully, it becomes clear that he deliberately selected them to emphasize the hypocrisy in the July 4th celebrations. Specifically, Douglass argues that the end of slavery must be demanded and not requested. From a personal perspective, Douglass used his opportunity of speaking at the independence celebrations perfectly by choosing strong antislavery words to show the country the urgent need for the end of the peculiar institution.

8. The Argument for the Abolition of Slavery

Instead of using the platform to make a case for the end of slavery, Douglass chooses to castigate those who continue to argue on whether slavery should end or not. He posts that it is evident to everybody that slavery is immoral and there should be no amount of justification for its practice in the Southern parts of the United States. I find this interesting in the sense that he uses sarcasm to wonder whether it is a challenging thing to see that slavery is neither moral nor right thereby promoting the idea that abolition is not debatable-it is an inevitable eventuality.

9. Interpretation of the 4th of July

Douglass does not see the 4th of July as having any meaning for black people. It is on this day that all peoples in the United States commemorate independence and fundamental values of democracy such as liberty and freedom yet some people are more equal than others. For me, this is the thesis of Douglass. He asserts that it is meaningless to celebrate independence when some Americas are still in the bondage of slavery.

10. The hypocrisy of the American State

In signing off his speech, Douglass attacks the pretence in the American political system. From a personal perspective, he means that the American state professes liberty and freedom, but these values are not upheld when it comes to certain groups of people. He compares the atrocities of the American state and other countries and concludes that the US has the worst record. I see this as hugely significant as it underscores the racial discrimination of Blacks in independent America.


Central to Douglass's speech is the need for equality in all spheres of life for black people. The author explores difficult questions regarding liberty and freedom and does not hesitate to point out the hypocrisy in the independence celebrations. I note that Douglass does not see any necessity to discuss the immorality of slavery as he considers such position as obvious to everybody. He attacks the hypocrisy both in the political and religious systems of the country as major contributors to the perpetuation of slavery. Like other speeches, he uses his oratory skills perfectly to criticize those who advocate for lenient measures to demand the end of slavery. Moreover, Douglass elucidates the irrelevance of the 4th of July to the black community because they are still chained in the mire of exploitation and racial inequality. Overall, Douglass dismisses the independence celebrations as an expression of American progress and paints the occasion as a reminder of how far is the country in achieving independence for its entire people.

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