This Day in Black History: July 5, 1852

Abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass delivers "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" speech.

Posted: 07/05/2014 12:00 AM EDT

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave who later became a leader in the abolitionist movement, delivered his now-iconic speech entitled, "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro." The event at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York, commemorated the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. 

Known for his fiery oratory skills, Douglass spoke of the struggle still endured by African-American slaves of the era. Of his most memorable lines: "This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn."

Historians have described it as one of Douglass' most moving in his catalog of speeches.

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(Photo: Courtesy of WikiCommons)

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