Frederick Douglass’s speech, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

In this assignment, consider the actual words or works of an important spokesperson for their times. After reading that speaker’s words, use the provided template to write a two-page response that shares your thoughts about the work in question, the historical events happening during the time the work was produced, and the relevance of the work in the present day. Completing this assignment will give you real insight into the thoughts and feelings of an actual participant in historical events. You will also begin to see how learning from past perspectives helps us better understand the issues we face in our own time period.



Topic Choices
Topic Choice 1: Frederick Douglass’s speech, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

Listen to the speech, as read by actor James Earl Jones.
Read the text of the speech.
For background, read about The Emancipation Proclamation in the National Archives.
Read additional background on Fredrick Douglass.
Topic Choice 2: Charles Dickens’s Economic Change and Consequences.

Select one of the following works to focus on for your assignment. You can find all four options in Chapter 28 of your textbook. Page numbers are indicated in the bullet points below.

Old Curiosity Shop (textbook page 944).
Sketches by Boz (textbook page 947).
Dombey and Son (textbook page 951).
Hard Times (textbook page 952).
Topic Choice 3: Women Challenge Their Audience.

Select one of the following authors to focus on for your assignment:

Angelina Grimke Weld’s speech in Philadelphia in 1938.
Read the speech.
Read the background.
Sojourner Truth’s famous 1851 speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?”
Read the speech and background.
See Chapter 29 of your textbook for additional background information.