"What to the Slave is the 4th of July" Activity Packet

"What to the Slave is the 4th of July" Activity Packet

For a long time, I celebrated July 4th just like most Americans—with family, friends, fireworks and food. It wasn’t until I read Frederick Douglass’ scathing indictment of slavery in his speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” that I realized the hypocrisy of the celebration.

Now that I'm a bit wiser, the day takes on a different meaning. I still enjoy a good firework show, but I also make sure that my children understand what Douglass meant when he said “this Fourth of July is yours, not mine.”

Our “What to the Slave is the 4th of July” Activity Packet is a powerful and thought-provoking activity packet that honors the legacy of Frederick Douglass and sheds light on the complex relationship between the Black community and the "Independence Day."

As July 4th approaches, it's important to acknowledge that this day hasn’t always (if ever) been inclusive of Black people. While many Americans celebrate the ideals of liberty and independence, Douglass' historic speech reminds us of the centuries of slavery, oppression, and systemic injustice that our community has endured.

But his speech is also one of hope and our activity packet will equip children with a deeper understanding of their heritage and inspire them to become agents of change.

So here’s what it includes:

    1. Frederick Douglass Coloring Page: This coloring page features a portrait of the influential abolitionist and orator, Frederick Douglass and showcases his inspirational quote, "Once you learn to read, you will forever be free." It provides an opportunity for children to engage with Douglass's powerful words and reflect on the importance of education and knowledge as tools for empowerment and Black liberation.
    2. “My Favorite Books” List: Nurture your child's love for reading and self-expression with our “My Favorite Books” worksheet. 
    3. "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July" for Kids: There’s nothing like the original, but to make Douglass’ speech accessible to younger readers, we adapted and revised it. This revised version distills the core themes and ideas from the original speech into language suitable for the youngest activists. Reading and discussing this speech with your children will inspire them to advocate for a more inclusive and just society.
    4. Critical Thinking Questions: Our activity packet includes a set of thought-provoking questions designed to stimulate critical thinking and ignite meaningful conversations about the implications of Douglass' words. These questions will encourage your children to analyze, reflect, and develop a nuanced understanding of the ongoing struggle for freedom and equality.
    5. July 4th Scavenger Hunt: This 4th of July scavenger hunt is all things red, white, and blue. Whether kids are watching fireworks or eating their favorite summer foods, they're sure to have fun with this interactive hunt.  and is a fun and patriotic activity that you can do while you join in the celebrations, picnics, and parades, and then wait for the fireworks to go off!


So download our FREE "What to the Slave is the 4th of July" Activity Packet and embark on a transformative journey of discovery with your children. Then, share it with a teacher or friend. Together, let's honor the indomitable spirit of Frederick Douglass and empower the next generation to challenge systemic injustice and strive for a more equitable future.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.