Customer Reviews: Great Speeches by African Americans: Frederick Douglass
Oct16 Amazon Fashion nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Electronics Holiday Gift Guide Starting at $39.99 Subscribe & Save Cozy Knits Book 2 or More Hours of House Cleaning on Amazon bajillions bajillions bajillions  All-New Echo Dot Starting at $89.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Shop Cycling on Amazon

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$3.50+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on April 15, 2009
More than a book of speeches, this solemn and profound book is a window into the history (or should I say plight?) of African Americans. Of many sagacious passages, here are a few highlights:

Fellow citizens, I will not enlarge further on your national inconsistencies. The existence of slavery in this country brands your republicanism as a sham, your humanity as a base pretence, and your Christianity as a lie. It destroys your moral power abroad; it corrupts your politicians at home. It saps the foundation of religion; it makes your name a hissing and a by word to a mocking earth. It is the antagonistic force in your government, the only thing that seriously disturbs and endangers your union. It fetters your progress; it is the enemy of improvement; the deadly foe of education; it fosters pride; it breeds insolence; it promotes vice; it shelters crime; it is a curse to the earth that supports it; and yet your cling to it as if it were the sheet anchor of all your hopes. Oh, be warned! Be warned! A horrible reptile is coiled up in your nation's bosom; the venomous creature is nursing at the tender breast of your youthful republic; for the love of God, tear way, and fling from you the hideous monster, and let the weight of twenty millions crush and destroy it forever!

Frederick Douglas
July 5, 1852

No, I'm not an American. I'm one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of Americanism. One of the 22 million black people who are the victims of democracy, nothing but disguised hypocrisy. So, I'm not standing here speaking to you as an American, or a patriot, or a flag-saluter, or a flag-waver - no, not I. I'm speaking as a victim of this American system. And I see America through the eyes of the victim. I don't see any American dream; I see an American nightmare.

Malcolm X
April 3, 1964

What will be [your] place in history?
In other eras, across distant lands, this is a question that could be answered with relative ease and certainty. As a servant of Rome, you knew you would spend your life forced to build somebody else's Empire. As a peasant in 11th century China, you knew that no matter how hard you worked, the local warlord might take everything you had - and that famine might come knocking on your door any day. As a subject of King George, you knew that your freedom to worship and speak and build your own life would be ultimately limited by the throne.
And then America happened.
A place where destiny was not a destination, but a journey to be shared and shaped and remade by people who had the gall, the temerity to believe that, against all odds, they could form "a more perfect union" on this new frontier.
And as people around the world began to hear the tale of the lowly colonists who overthrew an Empire for the sake of an idea, they came. Across the oceans and the ages, they settled in Boston and Charleston, Chicago and St. Louis, Kalamazoo and Galesburg, to try and build their own American Dream. This collective dream moved forward imperfectly - it was scarred by our treatment of native peoples, betrayed by slavery, clouded by the subjugation of women, shaken by war and depression. And yet, brick by brick, rail by rail, calloused hand by calloused hand, people kept dreaming, and building, and working, and marching, and petitioning their government, until they made America a land where the question of our place in history is not answered for us, but by us.

Barack Obama
June 4, 2005

None of this will come easy. Every one of us will have to work more, read more, train more, think more. We will have to slough off bad habits - like driving gas guzzlers that weaken our economy and feed our enemies abroad. Our kids will have to turn off the TV sets and put away the video games and start hitting the books.

Barack Obama
June 4, 2005
0Comment| 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 21, 2007
Interesting accounts of historic figures in african american history as displaced in the memorable speeches. Gives insight into the thinking and beliefs of some the great african american leaders of past and present times. If you are a historican of african american leaders or an avid reader, I would strongly recommend reading this book.
0Comment| 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 23, 2008
It was wonderful to find a compilation of full length speeches by African Americans. The speeches span from 1843 to 2005, and include lesser known speakers such as Henry Highland Garnet and Jermain Wesley Loguen, to the renowned Booker T. Washington and W.E.B Du Bois. As interesting and historically significant, if not coincidental, and timely, are speeches by Shirley Chisholm, and Barack Obama. Both were graduates of Columbia University. While Ms. Chisholm was the first African American female to hold office in the House of Representatives, Mr. Obama is the first African American male to hold an office in the Senate, since reconstruction. Additionally, one sought, while the other is seeking to hold the highest office in the United States - President. This compilation is a great addition to any household library.
22 comments| 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 9, 2009
I am so excited about our new President, Barack Obama!!! I found this book while just shopping on Great transaction, great product, great shipping. Thanks!
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 10, 2014
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 6, 2015
This past April I visted Douglas house in Baltimore so I'm glad I read this book and the Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass. The guide for the tour of the home was very informative about some the events in his life.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 11, 2013
I wanted a collection of great speeches by African Americans and was able to get many of them through the purchase of this book. It is currently in my general library, but will one day be in a special location with other great African American leaders.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 24, 2015
Very informative literally work on perhaps one of the greatest poet, civil rights activist, and writer/author. With a prohibition against true Afro-American literature from an academic perspective being taught during Black History Month; this is a vital and critical read. Enjoy and be enlightened.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 21, 2016
Informative , engaging , and accessible to my thirteen year old. Allows readers to be exposed to the thoughts and words of well known figures as well as those not so well known or revered traditionally in most schools.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 18, 2016
I ordered this book because it was required for one of my Literature classes this upcoming semester. The book is exactly what I ordered and easy to use and navigate in the kindle app. Haven't read it yet but am looking forward to it!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse