Frederick Douglass speech


On Monday, July 3, 2017, there will be the fourth annual Reading of the Frederick Douglass Speech: “The Meaning of the Fourth of July to the Negro.” This is a free event, and will run from 12 pm to 1:30 pm in the Meetinghouse of the Federated Church, at 45 South Summer St. This is a free community event.

The speech was originally given on July 5, 1852, to the Rochester Anti-Slavery and Sewing Society. Five years later, in December 1857, Mr. Douglass gave his speech “The Unity of Man” to an audience at the First Congregational Church (now known as the Federated Church), and at the Edgartown Town Hall.

“The Meaning of the Fourth of July to the Negro” is an incredibly moving presentation as to the viewpoint of black society, responding very differently from the white society in celebrating the Fourth of July. “Independence” protected the rights of white citizens, but not black citizens. The speech is very powerfully written, and the presenters include Island residents from many different backgrounds.

This is a free event, cosponsored by the Friends of the Edgartown Library and the Federated Church. For more information call 508-627-4421, email, or check the website,