Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration – July 5, 1852 – “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July.”

“What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July.”

Beinecke Library at Yale

Jul 2, 2020

For several years, the Beinecke Library has marked the Independence Day holiday with a public reading in early July of the United States Declaration of Independence and the oration by Frederick Douglass given on July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, in which Douglass asked: “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?”

These readings have been accompanied by an exhibition of the Beinecke Library’s first editions of both works, providing an opportunity to consider how these powerful words were put on paper to be shared across and beyond the United States.

This year, when public health requires avoidance of such indoor gatherings, the library is offering these readings online. We look forward to resuming this tradition on-site in 2021.

Video of 2020 readings of the Declaration & Douglass’s Oration will be posted July 2

Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration: Introduction by Walter O. Evans

Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration: Part 1, read by Walter O. Evans

Beinecke Library at Yale

Jul 2, 2020

A selection fromFrederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration, “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July,” read by Dr. Walter O. Evans from Savannah, Georgia. More information and links to texts: https://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dec…

Special thanks to Dr. Evans, Linda J. Evans, and Tubyes Cropper for arrangements and recording.

Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration: Part 2, read by David Blight

Beinecke Library at Yale
Jul 2, 2020

A selection from Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration, “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July,” read by David Blight at the Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven. Blight is Sterling Professor of History, of African American Studies, and of American Studies at Yale, and author of the Pulitzer Prize winning biography, “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” (2018).

More information and links to texts: https://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dec

Special thanks to Seely Jennings, superintendent of the Grove Street Cemetery

Production team: Video Producer: Travis Carbonella

Lighting Tech & Camera Operator: Luke Hanscom

Location Sound Mixer & Ronin Camera Operator: Mike DeMatteo

Teleprompter Services: Starprompt

Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration: Part 3, read by Babz Rawls Ivy

Beinecke Library at Yale

Jul 2, 2020

A selection from Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration, “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July,” ready Babz Rawls Ivy at The Institute Library, New Haven.

More information and links to texts: https://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dec

Special thanks to Eva Geertz, operations managers, and volunteers of The Institute Library

Production team: Video Producer: Travis Carbonella

Lighting Tech & Camera Operator: Luke Hanscom

Location Sound Mixer & Ronin Camera Operator: Mike DeMatteo

Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration: Part 4, read by Erik Clemons

Beinecke Library at Yale

Jul 2, 2020

A selection from Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration, “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July,” read by Erik Clemons, done at The Institute Library, New Haven.

More information and links to texts: https://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dec

Special thanks to Eva Geertz, operations managers, and volunteers of The Institute Library

Production team: Video Producer: Travis Carbonella

Lighting Tech & Camera Operator: Luke Hanscom

Location Sound Mixer & Ronin Camera Operator: Mike DeMatteo

Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration: Part 5, read by Walter O. Evans

Beinecke Library at Yale

Jul 2, 2020

A selection from Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration, “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July,” read by Dr. Walter O. Evans from Savannah, Georgia.

More information and links to texts: https://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dec

Special thanks to Dr. Evans, Linda J. Evans, and Tubyez Cropper for arrangements and recording.

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