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VIDEO: Frederick Douglass' descendants deliver his 'Fourth of July' speech

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20 year old Douglass Washington Morris II, the great-great-great-great grandson of the 19th Century African American abolitionist, writer and activist Frederick Douglass, joins some of his young relatives to deliver what is perhaps Douglass' most famous speech.

Updated July 4, 2022 at 6:02 AM ET

In the summer of 2020, the U.S. commemorated Independence Day amid nationwide protests for racial justice and systemic reforms in the wake of George Floyd's death. That June, we asked five young descendants of Frederick Douglass to read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?". It's a powerful, historical text that reminds us of the ongoing work of liberation.

A text version of the full speech is available here.

This video was inspired by Jennifer Crandall's documentary project "Whitman, Alabama." Visit whitmanalabama.com.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.