What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? Speech by Frederick Douglass Introducing the Speech with Literary Analysis: Speech Reading Skill: Evaluate Evidence Vocabulary in Context VIDEO TRAILER
INTRODUCING THE SPEECH What does INDEPENDENCE mean to you? In the United States, we celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July every year. The holiday commemorates our independence from England and the birth of our nation. But what does independence mean to you?
INTRODUCING THE SPEECH What does INDEPENDENCE mean to you? LIST IT With a group, discuss what being independent means to students your age. Make a list of the things you can do or the ideas you can hold as an independent person. For example, perhaps to you independence means being able to choose your own friends or listen to music your parents might not enjoy.
INTRODUCING THE SPEECH What does INDEPENDENCE mean to you? Maybe it means conquering a skill all on your own. Then consider what independence means in the larger sense—what does it mean to be free?
Click on the title to play the trailer. What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?
Speech Aspeechis a talk or public address in which the speaker presents proposals, beliefs, or ideas. In speeches, you will often encounter rhetorical questions—questions that do not require a reply. Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? That he is the rightful owner of his own body? —Frederick Douglass The blessings in which you this day rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. —Frederick Douglass Speech writers use these to prompt listeners to think about an issue or to suggest that the answer is obvious.
Speech As you read the following speech, notice how Frederick Douglass uses rhetorical questions and other rhetorical devices to stress his ideas.
Evaluate Evidence To evaluate an argument, you need to understand the writer’s claim and the evidence that supports it. CLAIM: The Fugitive Slave Law makes mercy to [escaped slaves] a crime and bribes the judge who tries them. EVIDENCE: An American judge gets ten dollars for every victim he consigns to slavery . . . —Frederick Douglass Fugitives on the Underground RR Distinguishing between a factual claim and a commonplace assertion will help you determine whether the evidence is adequate.
Evaluate Evidence • Factual claims are statements that can be proved by observation, an expert, or other reliable sources. They should not be accepted without evidence to back them up. Students who clean their own school are less likely to litter or to vandalize school property. • Opinions are statements of personal belief, feeling, or thoughts, which do not require proof. It’s wrong to make students clean the school.
Evaluate Evidence • Commonplace assertions are statements that many people assume to be true but are not necessarily so. Generalizations about life or human nature often fall into this category. One bad apple can spoil the bunch.
Evaluate Evidence As you read Douglass’s speech, note examples of factual claims, commonplace assertions, and opinions. Then decide whether he provides enough evidence to be convincing. CommonplaceAssertions Factual Claims Opinions Slaves are men.
disparity entitled fraud grievous prosperity sham In your Reader/Writer Notebook, write a sentence for each of the vocabulary words in the box on the right. Use a dictionary or the definitions on the following slide to help you. • Sample sentence: • 1. Douglass gives examples of the disparity between the rights of enslaved and free Americans.
disparityn. the condition or fact of being unequal; difference entitledv. given the right to have or do something fraudn. a deception deliberately practiced to secure unfair or unlawful gain; a trick grievousadj. causing grief, pain, or anguish prosperityn. the condition of having success; flourishing shamn. something false or empty that is presented as genuine; fake