F. Douglass "What the Fourth of July Means to African Americans"

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Lola Whitlow ENG102-Composition II Critically Reading a Position Essay-Part 2 a. The vivid imagery in Douglass’s speech gave the listeners a clear picture of exactly what the slaves endured. It gave them the opportunity to imagine “walking in the shoes” of a slave. Douglass’s description of the slave trade and its impact on individuals and families appealed to the following values: independence which the slaves did not have; basic values of what is right, good, or desirable (again, none were granted to the slaves); hard work and achievement (which was done by the slaves but was acknowledgement for it was given to the slave owners). He was giving an explicit speech about changes that needed to be made by strongly voicing to the audience that slaves did not have any place in the value structure. b. Having fled from slavery, Douglass was giving firsthand information to his audience, thus giving him full and complete credibility. Other than another slave giving this same speech, the argument would not have been compelling. c. The overall tone of Douglass’s speech would be very pessimistic as he shared his personal history with factual knowledge. The tone he chose fit the event and the circumstances. Time had passed, yet nothing had changed significantly. Mr. Douglass begins his speech by addressing the audience as “fellow citizens,” indicating to that although he was a “Negro” he himself was also a citizen. He then gave acknowledgement and praise to the revolutionist for gaining freedom and independence for all men from the British in 1776 (the past). Douglas was one of the forerunners in the fight against slavery and oppression. Even when he was a slave, Douglas fought for equal rights for the slaves, and that fight continued when he escaped slavery and went to New York where slavery did not exist. Douglas did not lose this opportunity to

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