"What to the Slave is 4th of July?": James Earl Jones Reads Frederick Douglass's Historic Speech

In a Fourth of July holiday special, we begin with the words of Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery around 1818, Douglass became a key leader of the abolitionist movement. On July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, he gave one of his most famous speeches, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” He was addressing the Rochester Ladies Antislavery Society. This is actor James Earl Jones reading the speech during a performance of historian Howard Zinn’s acclaimed book, “Voices of a People’s History of the United States.” He was introduced by Zinn.

Transcript

 

James Earl Jones, reading Frederick Douglass’s famous 1852 Independence Day address in Rochester, New York. It was part of a performance of Howard Zinn’s Voices of a People’s History of the United States.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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