I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more
shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day.

from Frederick Douglass – What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? on Rap Genius


Usually when a speaker addresses an audience, especially a speaker with such socio-cultural standing as FD, they speak with confidence and conviction. And he cannot remember a speech he’s given when he’s been any less sure or more nervous.

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