Defend democracy in the South.

It's another hot Independence Day down South -- and once again, for your holiday reading pleasure, Facing South shares two of our favorite pieces in celebration of July 4th:

PATRIOTISM'S SECRET HISTORY
By Peter Dreier and Dick Flacks
The Nation, May 16, 2002

Those who draw on our country's rich history of dissent -- such as today's dissidents against the Iraq war -- are sometimes labeled "unpatriotic." But how many know that the "Pledge of Allegiance" was written by a Christian socialist, "Ballad for Americans" was a favorite of the radical Paul Robeson, and "America the Beautiful" penned by an anti-imperialist poet?

WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS THE 4TH OF JULY?
By Frederick Douglass
July 5, 1852

At a meeting of the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society, the abolitionist leader Douglass delivered a speech that took aim at the pieties of the nation -- the ideals of the independence struggle, its principles of liberty, and its moral and religious foundation -- and contrasted them to the country's unfinished business of ensuring justice for all. What's remarkable is how much of Douglass' address speaks to the unfinished business of today.

Enjoy!

Chris Kromm

Chris Kromm chriskromm

Chris Kromm is executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies and publisher of the Institute's online magazine, Facing South.

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