Northampton community gathers, reflects on Frederick Douglass’ historic holiday speech

Mass Humanities hosted the public readings event, part of a statewide weeklong series
Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 9:19 PM EDT
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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - On Sunday in Northampton, Mass Humanities held a public readings event of Frederick Douglass’ influential address, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

Communities across Massachusetts took part in a statewide series of events this week focused on the speech written 170 years ago.

Each event featured a group of people gathered to read portions of the speech.

Western Mass News spoke with one of the event hosts, Rose Sackey-Milligan, who shared what it meant to her.

“It’s about honoring Frederick Douglass and his vision and reminding all of us that we have not achieved the vision that Frederick Douglass has set out for us,” said Sackey Milligan.

She added that the reading provided an opportunity for community members to open up discussions about race, rights, and the responsibilities to the past and to each other.