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6th-graders studying American history

Students in Mr. Ian McRae’s 6th-grade American History class are currently learning about the abolitionist movement and the events that led to the Civil War, and ultimately the end of slavery in the United States. They read the speech, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglass, a key figure in the movement who led a fascinating and inspiring life.
Mr. McRae explained that as a former slave and leading abolitionist, Douglass appealed directly to the American Founding and its principles to argue against slavery. His speech on the Fourth of July was a call to his audience to remember the Declaration of Independence.

In this address, Douglass beseeched his audience and said, “The principles contained in [the Declaration of Independence] are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.”

A key part of our mission at JH Classical Academy is to prepare students to contribute to a flourishing and free society and, according to Mr. McRae, “students should understand the significance of figures like Douglass and the perpetual significance of Founding documents like the Declaration of Independence.”
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