Who better to hear read the words of Frederick Douglass, than his descendants? What else is on your morning TV line-up?
July 5, 2020

On this Fourth of July weekend, listen to the words of the amazing Frederick Douglass, spoken by his great-great-great-(and great-)grandchildren. They read and interpret excerpts of Douglass' "What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July?"

If you have even more time, please read the original text of this incredible American's full speech to an abolitionist society in 1852. You'll come to fully understand why Abraham Lincoln himself, when he delivered his own speeches, cared more about Douglass' opinion than anyone else's.*

His calling out of hypocrisy, his absolutely infallible logic, his painting pictures with words, his ability to call his audience to task, yet leave them with the believe they have the capacity to perform their duties as he lay them out is transcendent.

And Douglass' piercing insight has clearly traveled through the generations. Descendent Zoë Douglass Skinner says, "I think he's mostly talking to people who are already on his side, but believe they can still try to talk this out, or that things are still justifiable. I know that a lot of people at the time — and people now — are saying 'It's not as bad as it could be.'"

And yet, after great-great-great-great-grandchild, Douglass Washington Morris II talks about the exhaustion he feels, just as a 20-year-old having to fight for recognition of his humanity, another descendant, 15-year-old Isidore Dharma Douglass Skinner says,

Someone once said that pessimism is the tool of white oppression, and I think that's true. I think in many ways, we are still slaves to the notion that it will never get better. but I think there is hope, and I think it's important that we celebrate Black joy, and Black life, and we remember that change is possible, change is probable, and that there's hope.

These kids, man. We need to give them everything. EVERYTHING.


Here is what Frederick Douglass wrote about Abraham Lincoln on visiting the White House after Lincoln delivered his second inaugural:

It [the speech] was very short; but he answered all the objections raised to his prolonging the war in one sentence - it was a remarkable sentence.

'Fondly do we hope, profoundly do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war shall soon pas away, yet if God wills it to continue until all the wealth piled up by two hundred years of bondage shall have been wasted, and each drop of blood drawn by the lash shall have been paid for by one drawn by the sword, we will still say, as was said three thousand years ago, the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'...

[At the reception following] I could not have been more than ten feet from him when Mr. Lincoln saw me; his countenance lighted up, and he said in a voice which was heard all around, 'Here comes my friend Douglass.' As I approached him he reached out his hand, gave me a cordial shake, and said: 'Douglass, I saw you in the crowd to-day listening to my inaugural address. There is no man's opinion that I value more than yours: what did you think of it?' I said: 'Mr. Lincoln, I cannot stop here to talk with you, as there are thousands waiting to shake you by the hand;' but he said again: 'What did you think of it?' I said: 'Mr. Lincoln, it was a sacred effort,' and then I walked off. 'I am glad you liked it,' he said. That was the last time I saw him to speak with him."

(excerpted from Lincoln As I Knew Him, Edited by Harold Holzer)

High praise from Frederick Douglass. We should all strive to meet his ideals.


Here's your Sunday morning line-up, from Politico:

NBC “Meet the Press” (Andrea Mitchell guest hosts): New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) … Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) … Susan Rice … Nahid Bhadelia. Panel: Peter Alexander, Jeh Johnson and Danielle Pletka.

ABC “This Week”: Stephen Hahn … Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego … Miami Mayor Francis Suarez … Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo … Tom Bossert and Patrice Harris. Panel: Matthew Dowd, Terry Moran, Julice Pace and Rachel Scott.

CBS “Face the Nation”: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) … Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez (R) … Scott Gottlieb … John Bolton … Mark Zandi … Stephen Kaufer.

FOX NEWS “Fox News Sunday” (Mike Emanuel guest hosts): Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia … Ashish Jha. Panel: Jason Chaffetz, Charles Hurt and Susan Page. Power Player: Rerun of The U.S. Army Old Guard’s Presidential Salute Battery

CNN “State of the Union”: Stephen Hahn … Austin Mayor Steve Adler … Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) … Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).

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