What to a Slave Is July 4th… (Excerpts read by James Earl Jones)

In 1852 the escaped slave turned Abolitionist speaker was asked to give the sermon for an important celebration feast day. He answered the call with a sermon entitled, “What to a Slave is July 4th?” This sermon was soon published and has been marked as one of the singular sermons and / or speeches written and published in America (standing with Kennedy’s Inaugural, Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural and King’s I Have a Dream).
It is a call to all those who love America and love the freedoms granted by this land to realize, and remember to live up the the high promises of our land. If we would speak glowingly of freedom, and equality, we must seek to live out these promised hopes.
It is a call to all men and women to not be like the one whose debts were removed; only to require his debtors to pay up, now. If we have been set free; then we must seek to bring that light out into our communities.
Last it is a call to reckoning. What is freedom to us, who have become indebted? And to whose debt are we under? What have you enslaved yourself to?


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