Author Casey Gerald on Frederick Douglass and the Meaning of July 4

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Casey Gerald speaks on stage during #BoFVOICES on November 30, 2018 in Oxfordshire, England. (John Phillips/Getty Images for The Business of Fashion)

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass delivered a speech titled "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" -- calling attention to the hypocrisy of the Declaration of Independence and its claim that "all men are created equal.” Today, amid protests against racism and a growing Black Lives Matter movement, equality is still a goal in progress. And the promises of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" ring differently, and perhaps more profoundly, in an ongoing pandemic that continues to claim both lives and livelihoods. Still, America and its ideals persist. This hour, we’ll talk to author Casey Gerald about Douglass’ speech and the current challenges we face as a nation, and hear what the Fourth of July means to you.

"The Black Art of Escape: 400 years have passed. Where do we go from here?", by Casey Gerald in New York Magazine


Casey Gerald, author, "There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir"; also wrote the essay "The Black Art of Escape" published by New York magazine last year