[act-ma] 6/02 The Declaration of (Whose?) Independence (Wed)

Janet janet at communitychangeinc.org
Wed Jun 18 08:16:42 PDT 2008

July 2, 2008
A Round-Robin Reading of Frederick Douglass’
The Meaning of July 4th for the Negro

Please join Community Change staff and friends for a round-robin  
reading/reflection/discussion of The Meaning of July 4th for the  
Negro, a speech delivered by Frederick Douglass on July 5, 1852 in  
Rochester, NY.

We will start by taking turns reading Douglass’ powerful exposition  
of the hypocrisy of a nation celebrating its declaration of  
independence while at the same time holding 4 million enslaved  
Africans in cruel bondage. We will then discuss how this speech  
comments on our “Independence Day” of 2008. It may seem that we have  
moved beyond race in the 105 years that separate us from Douglass’  
eloquent rage against slavery, especially when we think about our  
presumptive democratic candidate for the presidency of the United  
States. And yet, when we think about the shameful, manmade aftermath  
of Hurricane Katrina, when we remember that our incarceration rate, 1  
in 100, is the highest in the world, disproportionately penalizing  
men of color, and when we reflect on the learning opportunity gap in  
our schools that deprives our lower income urban and rural children  
of quality education, Douglass’ words are discomfortingly appropriate  
descriptions of our time. Please join us on July 2 from 12 noon-1:30  
p.m. at the Community Change Library on Racism, 14 Beacon Street,  
Room 605, Boston MA for the first of a series of discussions on race,  
racism, and the coming election. There is no admission charge.

For more information, call 1-617-523-0555. For a copy of the speech,  
go to: http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/douglassjuly4.html).  
We will read an abridged version of the speech, available at the event.
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