Abolitionist leader Fredrick Douglass performed his famous speech “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” on July 5, 1852, when asked to speak at a 4th of July celebration for the Rochester Ladies Antislavery Society.

James Earl Jones read Douglass’s speech during a performance for historian Howard Zinn’s book, Voices of a People’s History of the United States, in 2008. The performance made waves on social media yesterday as the nation celebrated its independence day.

Jones was introduced by Zinn and immediately dove into the historic piece. The performance can be seen below.  

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