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Judge Melodee Armstrong Talks Independence and The Slave is the 4th of July

Judge Melodee Armstrong GUMEC Interview

Source: Radio One Digital / Radio One Digital

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She’s an attorney and mediator of high profile cases, helping clients to succeed please welcome Judge Melodee Armstrong.  

You are back once again. Let’s jump right in now. Coming off the heels of the US Supreme Court’s banning affirmative action, many of all cultures, colors and faces are adjusting to how to address inequality at various levels. And Frederick gave a famous speech entitled what to the slave is the 4th of July. Can you share a little bit about Frederick Douglass in the face of slavery? 


Judge Armstrong replied, “Pastor Otis Moss the third at Trinity Unit United Christian Church in Chicago, he does an incredible recitation of Douglass’s speech. Frederick Douglass left the US. as a runaway slave when? The block got hot from his anti slavery efforts and he and he returned in 1846, after his freedom was purchased, instead of going mute, he returned to the very block and started a newspaper to advocate even more. His home was part of the Underground Railroad and he urged for blacks to enlist in the Civil War to show our allegiance to this country, to help in slavery he held several government. And with ambassador to Haiti, where he urged Haiti’s independence.” 



About this speech what are some of the takeaways from his famous 4th of July speech? 


Judge Armstrong replied, “So Douglas was a member of an Anti-slavery society and he was invited by the Ladies Anti Slavery Society in Rochester New York to speak on July the 4th, 1852. He accepted and he chose to speak on July 5th on the 5th, he said the signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave and great men, with the right vision and spirit, but in the words of The Isley Brothers, he said we had work to do so. All citizens could enjoy life. Liberty and pursuit of happiness, such high independence and celebrations only reveal the immeasurable distance between us the 4th of July is a day more than all other phrase that reveals the gross injustice and cruelty to which the slave is the constant victim.” 


So how do we stay encouraged for unity and true independence? 


Judge Armstrong replied, “So as you decide whose barbecue and potato salad? You’re gonna eat here are some fun facts when giving the speech, Douglas was struggling financially, his friend invited him to speak to raise funds to keep his newspaper afloat and with his speech based on what you just heard me say, she might have thought. And this is my thanks you know, because he kind of went in on white folks. Douglas used his 5th of July speech long after the Emancipation Proclamation to highlight the nation’s track record. When celebrating the 4th, he stayed true to freedom for all and did not sell or compromise his soul. He also fixed his finances and he knew the power of economics and land there was no red lightning. Then there was just outright slavery and a friend took me to his final home in DC. I was inspired to learn that he wanted to buy the land called Cedar Hill that looked out over these gorgeous meadows, TJ, but the former plantation owner refused to sell to him, that owner went bankrupt and guess who got the land? You know, he got the land. Look at God. Yeah, and all the city in the Old City in Jerusalem the Muslims, the Armenians, the Jews and the Christians peaceably coexist. I’ve been there, so the 4th reminds us to celebrate the possibilities that shine brightly before us for a truly United States. And the fifth reminds us we come from Douglas, legacies of resilience, education, entrepreneurship, patriotic service and unapologetic greatness. Freedom was not free that we celebrate with the hope, knowing that we are the hope of the grace and the joy of the slaves. So let’s make them proud.





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Judge Melodee Armstrong Talks Independence and The Slave is the 4th of July  was originally published on