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US Religious leaders to invoke Frederick Douglass on July 4th

00:15  04 july  2020
00:15  04 july  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Frederick Douglass ’ Independence Day speech is a prophesy, writes Kevin C. Peterson. Reading it today will help us think about the inequities built Just beneath the saccharine lore of celebration that currently occasions our nation’s birthday on July 4 th is a rich, luminous underside of civic verbiage

Douglass uses religious language in discussing Independence. Why do you think he does so? He wants to use any means to convince people to end slavery. In the second part of the speech, Douglass turns to the present and his own feelings about the 4 th of July celebration. What are these?

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — About 150 preachers, rabbis and imams are promising to invoke Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass on July 4th as they call for the U.S. to tackle racism and poverty.

In this Wednesday, June 24, 2020, photograph, a woman walks past a mural in tribute to Frederick Douglass on the exterior wall of the Black-owned Slade's Bar and Grill in the South End neighborhood of Boston. Many from outside Boston have recently ordered takeout, purchased gift cards and supported the restaurant amid nationwide protests against racism. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) © Provided by Associated Press In this Wednesday, June 24, 2020, photograph, a woman walks past a mural in tribute to Frederick Douglass on the exterior wall of the Black-owned Slade's Bar and Grill in the South End neighborhood of Boston. Many from outside Boston have recently ordered takeout, purchased gift cards and supported the restaurant amid nationwide protests against racism. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The religious leaders are scheduled this weekend to frame their sermons around “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” on the 168th anniversary of that speech by Douglass. The former slave gave his speech at an Independence Day celebration on July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York. The address challenged the Founding Fathers and the hypocrisy of their ideals with the existence of slavery on American soil.

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The 4 th of July is the first great fact in your nation’s history—the very ring-­‐bolt in the chain of your yet undeveloped destiny . . . Source: Oration, Delivered in Corinthian Hall, Rochester, by Frederick Douglass , July 5th, 1852 (Rochester: Lee, Mann & Co., 1852) from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of

African-American social reformer, abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass . Douglass was the country’s most famous black man of the Civil War era, a conscience of the His July 4 address (actually given on July 5) was notable in part for how he separated the slave from the holiday itself.

The initiative to remember Douglass is led by the Poor People’s Campaign, a coalition of religious leaders seeking to push the U.S. to address issues of poverty modeled after Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last crusade.

“(The Declaration of Independence) was written mostly by Thomas Jefferson. Yet he owned hundreds of human beings, and enslaved them,” Rabbi Arthur Waskow will tell The Shalom Center in Philadelphia, according to prepared remarks. “The contradiction between his words and his actions has been repeated through all American history.”

Sunita Viswanath, co-founder of Sadhana: Coalition of Progressive Hindus, said their group also will take part in solidarity.

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On July 5th, 1852, in Rochester, New York, 165 years ago, Douglass gave one of his most famous speeches, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the HOWARD ZINN: Frederick Douglass , once a slave, became a brilliant and powerful leader of the anti-slavery movement. In 1852, he was asked to speak

HOWARD ZINN: Frederick Douglass , once a slave, became a brilliant and powerful leader of the anti-slavery movement. In 1852, he was asked to speak in FREDERICK DOUGLASS : [read by James Earl Jones] Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day?

“Both Pandita Pratima Doobay, Sadhana’s resident priestess, and Pandit Sanjai Doobay, a member of our spiritual counsel, will be sharing video messages and prayers (July 4th) morning, reflecting from a Hindu perspective on the speech delivered by Frederick Douglass.”

The clergy also will urge their congressional representatives and senators to listen to their sermons and address systemic racism and issue a call to support the Poor People’s Moral Justice Jubilee Policy Platform. That platform seeks more attention to poverty and police reforms.

Last month, the Poor People’s Campaign held a virtual march that attracted more than 2.5 million viewers on Facebook.

The gathering came two years after Rev. William Barber, of Goldsboro, North Carolina, and Rev. Liz Theoharis of New York City encouraged activists in 40 states to take part in acts of civil disobedience, teach-ins, and demonstrations to force communities to address poverty on the anniversary of King’s 1968 planned event, which was held after he was killed in Memphis, Tennessee.

Barber said the coalition is operating in 45 states. Organizers have visited impoverished colonias along the U.S.-Mexico border and met with poor white farmers in Kansas.

___

Associated Press writer Russell Contreras is a member of the AP’s Race and Ethnicity team. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras

Frederick Douglass statue vandalized in New York park on anniversary of famous Fourth of July speech .
A statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass was ripped from its base in Rochester.The statue of Douglass was dismantled and taken on Sunday from Maplewood Park, a site along the Underground Railroad where Douglass and Harriet Tubman helped shuttle slaves to freedom.

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This is interesting!