Preview trailer: 2020 Reading of Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Oration

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…

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