Before Frederick Douglass: William Watkins Speaks for Black Americans on Independence Day. July 4, 1831.

On the 4th of July, Independence Day in the United States, Frederick Douglass’s “What to the Slave is the 4th of July” circulates widely. In my own research, I’d come across a similar oration by Baltimore’s William Watkins. I wrote about it briefly here.

Twenty one years before Frederick Douglass delivered his timeless address, “What to the Slave is the 4th of July?,” teacher and activist William Watkins, writing as “A Colored Baltimorean,” penned his own bitter reflections on the “Anniversary of American Independence.”

[Continue here.]

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