The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro: A Speech by Frederick Douglass

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Comments (12)
  1. Yoli Moore says:

    Thank you, as always Jemar. Thank you. Some of these comments tho…🤐😢😕

  2. Deborah Miranda says:

    Seeking understanding: why would you compare the institutional subjugation of the past & reticence to celebrate Independence Day by those enslaved to the present condition of no institutional slavery or racism. Not trying to be arrogant but it seems such a different time. Also why the chain of enslavement of an “entire race”. All Africa was not in subjugation.

  3. Amanda says:

    This is an excellent perspective. These comments though 🙁 God bless you Jemar!

  4. g says:

    Dear John H. I am not a highly educated or articulate man. However, I read some that are so I can refer you to Jarvis Williams’ Latest entry over at TGC “Kingdom Multi-Ethnicity As Ground for Urgent Multi-Ethnic Church Planting and Reform. I hope you will benefit from his insights as I have.

  5. Charles says:

    Great article.

  6. I find it odd that many conservatives would shame the civil rights movement because they say the Christian response should be to subject yourself to the higher powers that be, yet they celebrate the way in which America acquired it’s independence. That’s hypocrisy at its finest.

    1. Helmstead says:

      What’s sad is that you don’t know that it was the Republicans who passed the civil rights bills, not the democrats. But hey, that’s what modern media and education revisionists want you to believe. You people won’t get it until you look up the voting stats yourself. So please, by all means, actually educate yourself before saying such ignorant things.

  7. g says:

    Thank you Jemar for this resource. If only, to our shame, we would exchange the word church for the word nation in the speech you mention here, it would be more accurate and hopeful. It seems to me that from the beginning you have modeled a teachable humble spirit to us who are not as black. It is my prayer that God continue to open up the eyes of the not as black leaders of the true church to see this Elder qualifying spirit in the more as black men all around us now and install them now as they are in heven, “Your will on earth as it is in… (in my neighborhood?)…. heaven”, now. It has always been time for the church to fix it through men like you who are able to take the heat from with in the church now. Please keep challenging the church with your gift of burden and your growing gift of articulating as to the damage to the gospel witness of the church that this continuing sin of the church is now.

    1. John N says:

      “this continuing sin of the church”??????

      Did you read the speech G?

      The Great Orator delivered this brilliant speech a decade before the war, two decades before Emancipation, and more than a century before the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965. I don’t know what you are referring to by “this continuing sin in the church,” but there is no mistaking that Douglas’ audience knew very well that African slaves were in VERY REAL CHAINS, not the PERCEIVED chains of today’s American liberals both in and outside the church.

      As the Israelites, which Douglas mentioned in the speech, were set free from REAL, not PERCEIVED political chains, and COMMANDED to perpetually praise their chain-breaking God throughout all generations, are you, like Mr. Tisby, really not able TODAY to give perpetual praise, not only for setting our spiritual fathers free in Egypt, but also for REALLY, ACTUALLY setting free scores of African slaves in America, many of which were, through this dark providence also set free from spiritual enslavement with enduring spiritually free children today?????

  8. John N says:

    Mr. Tisby,

    Perhaps you were in a hurry when you wrote these brief comments about this riveting speech. One might get the impression that you are indifferent to the fact that the Great God heard the cries of His enslaved people in America, like Douglas, and heard the cries of sympathizing white Christians and, through benevolent and wonderfully providential means SET THEM FREE!

    In his speech, Douglas likens the celebration of Independence Day to Israel’s Passover. However, when Israel was set free, praise for God’s great goodness toward them was commanded to be perpetually exclaimed by the former slaves throughout all generations. That praise for His chain-breaking mercy is to be exclaimed without end is itself a testament to just how great His mercy truly is and how worthy He is to receive praise for it!

    Why then, are you, Mr. Tisby, not opening your mouth ON THIS 4th of JULY with praises for the benevolent God, Who inclined His ear and SET THEM FREE, due to nothing good in the American slaves, but due only to His Great Goodness and desire to display His mercy AND THEN RECEIVE PRAISE FOR IT? Why? (Of course, your answer must be that blacks in American really are not free, but still “everywhere he is in chains”, as your “unconstrained” worldview demands)

    Certainly, on THAT 4th of JULY, the Great Orator, truly had reason to lament the hypocrisy of this nation toward Africans. That is an understatement indeed. But on THIS 4th of JULY, all American Christians, black and white, must join in praises for God for His Great Goodness toward the formerly enslaved Africans in America, toward Israel, and all who have been set free among the Israel of God.

    Again, perhaps you were in a hurry when you wrote your intro to this speech. I am pretty certain that at home today with your family you are giving the praise and thanksgiving to God which is due to Him for setting all captives free through Christ Jesus, and praying for the freedom for those of our brothers and sisters who really are still in physical captivity.

  9. Jay says:

    Great article

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