Reading Frederick Douglass's, What is the Meaning of the Forth of July for the Slave, I am reminded of a more recent celebration of the Fourth which raised the same question for the descendants of American slaves. The 200th anniversary of the Fourth in 1976 was celebrated with a great deal of fanfare. The celebration lasted all year and culminated in a majestic procession of more than three hundred “tall ships,” sailing vessels from around the world that had gathered in New York Harbor to sail up the Hudson on the Fourth. As we watched the ships passing by from Riverside Park on 105 th st, we noticed that the ships were all turning around at 110th st, just before entering Harlem. This flotilla apparently was acknowledging that the Fourth of July held the same meaning for the descendants of American slavery that Douglass affirmed it had for their ancestors 125 years earlier.