“What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mock; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy – a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.”
Quote Number: 873
Source: Douglass, Frederick. “The Hypocrisy of American Slavery.” Speech. Corinthian Hall, Rochester, New York, July 05, 1852. In Fordham University’s Internet Modern History Sourcebook. Online Here.
Source Notes: He had also given a near identical speech the previous day to the Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society at their public 4th of July celebrations.