Democracy in Practice
A diverse people can self-govern

168 Words That Didn’t Change the World: The Condemnation of Slavery Removed from the Declaration of Independence

It may not be widely known that an early draft of the Declaration of Independence actually included a full-throated condemnation of slavery as being one of the reasons that the colonies were seeking independence from the British Crown:https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/declaration-independence-and-debate-over-slavery/

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he has obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed again the Liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

For this program we’ll engage in a counter-factual journey – imagine if they had, in fact included these words? The evening will present an opportunity to understand both the tragic turn that history took and the harm that endured because of it and how the central tenets of the Declaration still inspired action that propelled the cause of freedom and equality for all Americans forward.

Possible panelists: A black history scholar or general history scholar. It could also be handled by a non-scholar as a general discussion that was a little less academic.