Today is Valentine's Day and Frederick Douglass's 200th birthday, or at least the day he assigned for himself. One of my favorite quotes by him (that I use) is "The soul that is within me, no man can degrade."
Frederick Douglass was known well for being an escaped slave, committed republican (at that time in our history, the progressive party) and abolitionist. He was a staunch advocate of equality (an early one for women) and education, seeing his own personal emancipation centered on something slaves were banned from doing: reading. His former master chastised his wife, saying teaching Frederick how to read would "ruin him" and make him unfit for the peculiar institution. He couldn't have agreed more.
In his uniquely bellicose manner, Mr. Douglass tackles this in a long soliloquy given July 5, 1852 in Rochester, NY. I have thought of Charleston, South Carolina and how the narrative of our nation had been determined by a defeated foe to the point of redefining the narrative and main rationale (if you can call it that) behind the Civil War: the continued indentured servitude of a kidnapped people in perpetuity. In light of the debate sparked by the assassination of nine innocents in Mother Emanuel AME, and the symbol the terrorist so revered; the possibility on that symbol's removal in the bloody aftermath, I give you Frederick Douglass' apropos speech on its 163rd anniversary in excerpt, read by the accomplished actor and voice of Darth Vader, James Earl Jones.
Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens:He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day. A feeling has crept over me quite unfavorable to the exercise of my limited powers of speech. The task before me is one which requires much previous thought and study for its proper performance. I know that apologies of this sort are generally considered flat and unmeaning. I trust, however, that mine will not be so considered. Should I seem at ease, my appearance would much misrepresent me. The little experience I have had in addressing public meetings, in country school houses, avails me nothing on the present occasion. The papers and placards say that I am to deliver a Fourth of July Oration. This certainly sounds large, and out of the common way, for me. It is true that I have often had the privilege to speak in this beautiful Hall, and to address many who now honor me with their presence. But neither their familiar faces, nor the perfect gage I think I have of Corinthian Hall seems to free me from embarrassment. The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable-and the difficulties to he overcome in getting from the latter to the former are by no means slight. That I am here to-day is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude. You will not, therefore, be surprised, if in what I have to say I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium. With little experience and with less learning, I have been able to throw my thoughts hastily and imperfectly together; and trusting to your patient and generous indulgence I will proceed to lay them before you. This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the Fourth of July. It is the birth day of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, as what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day. This celebration also marks the beginning of another year of your national life; and reminds you that the Republic of America is now 76 years old. l am glad, fellow-citizens, that your nation is so young. Seventy-six years, though a good old age for a man, is but a mere speck in the life of a nation. Three score years and ten is the allotted time for individual men; but nations number their years by thousands. According to this fact, you are, even now, only in the beginning of your national career, still lingering in the period of childhood. I repeat, I am glad this is so. There is hope in the thought, and hope is much needed, under the dark clouds which lower above the horizon. The eye of the reformer is met with angry flashes, portending disastrous times; but his heart may well beat lighter at the thought that America is young, and that she is still in the impressible stage of her existence. May he not hope that high lessons of wisdom, of justice and of truth, will yet give direction to her destiny? Were the nation older, the patriot's heart might be sadder, and the reformer's brow heavier. Its future might be shrouded in gloom, and the hope of its prophets go out in sorrow. There is consolation in the thought that America is young.-Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages. They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties. They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship. They, however, gradually flow back to the same old channel, and flow on as serenely as ever. But, while the river may not be turned aside, it may dry up, and leave nothing behind but the withered branch, and the unsightly rock, to howl in the abyss-sweeping wind, the sad tale of departed glory. As with rivers so with nations.
IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE CHANGING YOUR PROFILE PICTURE, SWITCH TO EITHER CHROME BROWSWER OR FIREFOX. THERE IS A KNOWN ISSUE WITH INTERNET EXPLORER THAT CAUSES TROUBLE CHANGING PICTURES.
PLEASE DO NOT SIGN IN WITH FACEBOOK IF YOU ALREADY HAVE AN ACCOUNT. YOU WILL CREATE A DUPLICATE THAT WILL NOT HAVE YOUR INFO CONNECTED. THANKS
Please do not greet everyone on the site with large images and/or announcements of your book or business. Yes, you want to tell the world, but learn the fine art of subtlety. We have lost numerous members because of the amount of 'friend' mail they instantly receive. This Hurts Everyone.
Also, DO NOT post the same information multiple times throughout the site. It will be deleted without notice.
Spam is unsolicited advertising, whether it is posted as comments on other members' pages or is emailed for marketing purposes.
Please be considerate. Post your advertisement in the proper Articles/Forum or Group. There are inexpensive marketing channels that reach every member for just $25 on the Advertising tab. You can post your information on your profile and even update your blog as often as you like.
We are not into censorship, so please don't make us ask you to leave. Be kind and unselfish - don't spam.
Your Account Will Be Deleted Without Warning For Spam.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library/Library of Congress “Halting at Noon,” a wood engraving showing a slave drive through Virginia in the early nineteenth century, 1864
Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Diaspora, Diversity, Diversity in Science, History, Women in Science…
RX J1131-1231 is about 6 billion light-years away. It is a lensed quasar; gravitational lensing caused by an intervening elliptical galaxy (center, yellow) has magnified and multiplied the image of RX J1131 into four images (pink) as seen with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Michigan/R.C.Reis et al; Optical: NASA/STScI
The Digital Brothers Our goal is to provide cost effective technological solutions for home, small and big business. After over 20 years of service working in this field, we decided to utilize our talents to develop and cultivate our own vision to benefit the community. 2D & 3D Animation Graphic & Web Design Photo & Video Multimedia Development Online & Print Marketing
Life as alpha of a werewolf pack is anything but predictable. But even Parker Berenson is surprised by the latest twist: he’s fallen in love with a space alien. Problem is, he suspects Melera, his sexy new flame, might be the serial killer terrorizing Seattle. Or maybe she isn’t. After all, just because she’s an interstellar assassin doesn’t mean she’s guilty.
The Future of Fiction is a collaboration of talented and diverse fiction authors from around the globe that have joined to provide you the best in Speculative fiction experiences imaginable. Check us out: www.thefutureoffiction.com