In 1852, Frederick Douglass authored a statement narrating the effects of slavery on the president, his friends, and citizens within the United States. His narration was derived from a personal experience of having been a slave in the United States. In the first paragraph, he affirmed that people across America were facing a challenge in expressing their opinions, idea, and proposals. They faced limited freedom of expression, movement, and speech. He was however authoring his narration on slavery without fear of violating the limited rights and freedoms as the country was to celebrate National Independence Day. The country was waiting to celebrate its birthday on the Fourth of July. The day was remembering and celebrating when the Americans were delivered from slavery. Consequently, the Americans were celebrating for being able to enjoy rights and freedoms including the country undertaking self-governance under equal and achievable liberties for citizens. The president and citizens across the country were therefore preparing and anticipating celebrating the National Independence marking freedoms, rights, and liberties in relation to social and political aspects (Frederick 188).
Frederick Douglass compared the birthday celebrations to the Passover feast as authored in the Bible. Thus, the National Independence day was to mark political delivery from slavery after seventy-six years. Slavery was a crude approach utilized by colonies to acquire cheap labor in America. It is a movement that originated in the 1600s. Slavery has different and diverse definitions including discrimination, bondage, and racism among others. However, the most applicable definition of slavery is the act of holding an individual against his/her will. In America, the victims were held in bondage in order to provide labor at cheap or no costs. The roots of slavery denying citizens across various genders, races, and ethnic communities liberties, self-governance, and equality can be originally extracted from ancient civilization (Trotman 118).
Frederick Douglass asserts that he witnessed and suffered from slavery in different historical forms. For example, he witnessed women enslaved as domestic workers serving wealthy and influential households. They would receive little or no remuneration for providing their services. He also witnessed young and old men enslaved as laborers across mining fields in the country. Thus, slavery had different definitions and forms with similar characteristics. Foremost, victims would be captured, sold off, and enslaved. However, most of them were sold off in order to settle debts. Thus, slaves were hardly treated with respect and human dignity. Moreso, they were denied an opportunity to own property including land, and accumulate wealth to gain social and political influence. Some men and women with children captured and sold as slaves were denied an opportunity to witness their offspring grow and mature into adults. This is because the men and women would be captured sold and enslaved (Jackson 3). However, the children would be set free without necessarily admitting them in households. Thus, children would be exempted from slavery without a guarantee of receiving love, care, and support from parents and family. They had to feed themselves from an early age until they were independent. After Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery, he vowed to speak and lead various movements against the slavery menace affecting families, communities, and the country. He, therefore, established the Abolitionist Movement while narrating orally and authoring antislavery remarks and statements (HW 1).
His narrations assert that slaves lacked freedom and rights to live in a country as independent, liberalized and self-governed citizens in America. His narration in 1852 was therefore utilized in highlighting his pride for America in gaining freedom from slavery. He regarded 4 July as not only the National Independence Day but also freedom for Negros who had suffered for decades due to slavery. However, he was concerned that some hypocrites were still celebrating National Independence day while denying liberties and self-governance to several unfortunate citizens unable to free themselves from slavery. He, therefore, asserted that the celebrations marked the first step in America growing and developing politically, socially, and economically away from slavery. Thus, his narration was a confirmation that there were still multiple persons enslaved in the country. However, he believed and hoped that as the country matured politically, slavery would gradually reduce and come to an end (George 132).
The celebrations were also marking a national career of healing persons like Frederick Douglass who had suffered from slavery. David Blight is a historian who narrated an abolitionist speech authored by Frederick Douglass. His narration discussed historical aspects that encouraged and supported slavery in ancient America. Another speech authored by John Brown highlighted that slavery was a heavily funded and guarded movement in America. As a result, massive weapons were required to end it through force. Although he acknowledged the use of a massive arsenal in ending slavery would encourage violence in the country, he also asserted that the results would be positive on a larger scale (David 1).
Since John Brown was also a slave, he narrated various painful experiences he went through. Wealthy, mighty, intelligent, and powerful people enslaved him. However, they were cruel, wicked, and unjust. For example, the white democracy facilitated slaves to suffer from racial discrimination. Racial discrimination fueled slaves from the black community to suffer from racial oppression due to inequalities, injustices, exclusion, and intolerance for people from the black and Native American communities. Thus, people from the white race were not as affected as the black community with regard to slavery. Instead, the white democracy prohibited certain citizens from exercising their rights and freedoms in favor of one racial community. He defined political theory race as the identification of particular races. The definition was in relation to the multiple diverse roles and responsibilities they played in organizing a family, community, and country. He also asserted that political theory is political participation among members of a community or country. It aims at creating and enhancing new and positive possibilities discouraging slavery. Thus, political theory is a disciplinary aspect for citizens to formulate applicable democratic aspirations facilitating equality, liberties, and self-governance (Joel 10).
Patricia Hill Collins authored a book affirming that native and black American community members had to watch their language, actions, and mode of dressing. Thus, native and black Americans often lacked a voice in choosing and deciding individual and collective opinions, interests, desires, and needs in relation to political, social, and personal aspects (Patricia 1).
Focusing on the American experience in relation to slavery empowers the narrative authored by Frederick Douglass. It is a narrative speech attempting to tell the American political history of slavery. The author sought to fulfill his vision by establishing and leading the Abolition Movement. It was tasked with reducing and ending slavery in the American communities and the country at large. The Abolition Movement can be utilized to describe slavery experiences in America. This is because the narration is authored by a person who actually experienced and suffered from being forced into slavery However, the Abolition Movement is applicable in describing America as a sovereign country striving to ensure citizens enjoy freedoms, rights, equality, and self-governance characterized by justice (Willard 340).
The topic of slavery contemporary shapes the current attitudes and beliefs among the American races and political aspects. For example, black Americans were commonly referred to as Negros. However, they hardly appreciate persons from other American communities calling them Negros. They strive to ensure they are not inferior to other communities within America as it often reminds them of the slavery experience. Most people who personally experienced slavery have passed on. The rest have either read or heard about the dark historic period of slavery in political American communities. Thus, they strive to ensure that the equal opportunities the sovereign country has awarded them as other American communities in creating and accumulating wealth are maximized (Willard 344).
Slavery represents a dark historic period in American politics among the races and communities, especially native and black Americans who experienced pain and suffering. Native and black Americans as well as white races desired to own property, land, and accumulate wealth. More so, they desired to practice freedom of speech, association, and movement without restrictions. However, the native and black Americans were denied an equal opportunity as persons from the white community to work freely and accumulate wealth applicable in driving commercial and economic competition. The National Independence Day, therefore, marks a new beginning encouraging and supporting self-governance, sovereignty, equality, and practice of social, political, and economic liberties.
David, Blight. Back Story with the American History Guys, Media for Educators and Students, 2009. Print.
Frederick, Douglass. Selected Speeches and Writings, Chicago: Lawrence Hill, 188-206, 1999. Print.
George, Rable. But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction, Athens, University of Georgia Press, 132, 1984. Print.
History is a Weapon (HW). John Brown’s Last Speech, 1859. 7th April 2013, Web. http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/johnbrown.html
Jackson, Turner. The Significance of the Frontier in American History, Primary Sources Workshops in American History, 1893. 7th April 2013, Web. http://www.learner.org/workshops/primarysources/corporations/docs/turner.html
Joel, Olson. A Political Theory of Race: The Abolition of White Democracy, University of Minnesota Press, London. Print.
Patricia, Hill, C. Black Feminists Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, New York and London, Routledge, 2000.
Trotman, James. Frederick Douglass: A Biography, Penguin Books, 118–119, 2011. Print.
Willard, Gatewood. Frederick Douglass and the Building of a ‘Wall of Anti-Slavery Fire’, 1845–1846. An Essay Review. The Florida Historical Quarterly 59(3): 340–344, 1981. Print.