Celebrating Frederick Douglass’s Fourth of July Speech, July 5, 2021

On Monday, July 5, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., community members will read aloud an amended version of Frederick Douglass’ influential speech, given on July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, to the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society.  At 7:00 p.m., after a break, Caroline Clarke and Joyce Trotman-Jordan, Not in Our Town Princeton board members, will lead a discussion about the significance of Douglass’ speech in his time and for ours.  To register for one or both events, click here.

Frederick Douglass forces us to reckon with the legacy of slavery and the promises of democracy. One of the most celebrated orators of his day, Douglass’ powerful language, resolute denunciations of slavery and forceful examination of the Constitution challenge us to think about the histories we tell, the values they teach, and if our actions match our aspirations. To quote Douglass, “We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the future.”

Organizing partners, in alphabetical order: Nassau Presbyterian Church and Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church Joint Mission Committee, Not In Our Town Princeton, Paul Robeson House of Princeton, Princeton Public Library, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton.

Supporting organizations: Arts Council of Princeton, Princeton Senior Resource Center, Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, Princeton Civil Rights Commission, Witherspoon Jackson Historical & Cultural Society, Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, The Muslim Center of Greater Princeton, Make Us Visible NJ, Princeton Friends Meeting, YMCA Princeton, African American Cultural Collaborative of Mercer County, Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, Trenton Literacy Movement, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Historical Society of Princeton, Princeton United Methodist Church, Mt. Pisgah AME, Ujima Village Christian Church, The Hun School, We See Color, People & Stories, Municipality of Princeton, YMCA Princeton, Coalition for Peace Action, CASA for Children of Mercer and Burlington, Union Baptist Church of Trenton,Trinity Church Princeton, YWCA Princeton (additional supporting organizations will be added upon confirmation.)

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