In American Negroes”. This shows that to

In Frederick Douglass’ 1852 speech What to the Slave is the Fourth of July, he highlights the illusion that American Independence Day is the independence of all U.S. citizens. He says that “This Fourth July, is yours, not mine”, considering that to assume an African American to celebrate the white man’s freedom from tyranny and oppression is an “inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony.” “Sacrilegious,” suggests the evil degradation of pure American ideals — equal rights, freedom, and democracy. He criticises the ideology of American democracy and freedom as inconsistent. Douglas believes that while it declares freedom, it fails to give all people the same rights, although it advocates for democracy in the wider world, it does not award it to all of its people. Likewise, he asserts that while the Declaration of Independence pronounces that “all men are created equal,” American society creates an underclass of men and women with minorities. To an extent, Du Bois disagrees with Douglass as he states that “there are to-day no truer exponents of the pure human spirit of the Declaration of independence than the American Negroes”. This shows that to Du Bois U.S. independence day is fully embodied by the African American.  This statement can be taken as Du Bois believing that the celebrations of the white American can be embraced by the African American as they too overcame their oppressors. Therefore, Douglas seeing the expectation for African Americans to partake in independence day celebrations as wrong is highly understandable as at the time is black were still enslaved, however, Du Bois believes that the African American spirit is expressed in nature of the Declaration of Independence. Showing that although the different races in America have different histories, their underlying “we shall overcome” spirit is one that is in all Americans and can be seen as a shared American identity as to what it means to be an American.