Frederick Douglass and the Slave's Point of View
Frederick Douglass and the Slave's Point of View

On July 5, 1852, more than a decade before the abolition of slavery, Frederick Douglass spoke to the Ladies Anti-Slavery Society of Rochester, N.Y., to explain the slave’s point of view with regard to the 4th of July in perhaps his most famous speech “What to the slave is the 4th of July?” Douglass’s speech follows the logic of his life, a literate man, who escaped bondage to tell his own story in memoir and thousands of speeches across the country, to make the case for the application of the unalienable natural rights described in the Declaration of Independence to the part of the American population still held in brutal bondage. Join the School for a conversation about Douglass’s rhetorical and moral campaign to compel the United States to live up to its own political principles. 


In response to Arizona State University President Michael Crow's call to address recent events across America and the civic crisis of conscience they provoked, the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership proposes to lead a program of discussion, learning, and action for a renewal of our common pledge to respect and protect the equal rights of all Americans to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

To this end, the theme of this year's "The Civic Discourse Project" will address Race, Justice, and Leadership in America in a virtual series. Each webinar will be dedicated to leaders of thought and action, and will include discussion of the subject of slavery and the founding, the thought of Frederick Douglass, and Lincoln and Slavery, throughout the Fall 2020 semester.
Danielle Allen is a compelling analyst of history and contemporary events and a leader in higher education. She is currently Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University as well as Professor in Harvard’s Department of Government and Graduate School of Education. Before joining Harvard, she was UPS Foundation Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the first African American faculty member to be appointed to the Institute that was Einstein’s home for two decades. She is also a contributing columnist for the Washington Post. Allen is the author of six books, including Our Declaration: a reading of the Declaration of Independence in defense of equality, which won the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians and the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for Nonfiction and CUZ :The Life and Times of Michael A. (2017) She is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the American Philosophical Society and a 2001 winner of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. 
Peter C. Myers is Professor of Political Science, specializing in political philosophy and U.S. constitutional law, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is the author of two books: Our Only Star and Compass: Locke on the Struggle for Political Rationality (1998) and Frederick Douglass: Race and the Rebirth of American Liberalism (2008). He has published articles, chapters, and book reviews in the fields of liberal political philosophy, American literature, and American political thought. 
Date: Monday, October 26, 2020
Time: 5 to 6 p.m. (Arizona MST)
Location: Zoom (connectivity details provided upon registration)

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