Tuesday, July 5, 2022

The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro by Fredrick Douglass

Happy Independence Day Week! Today we will listen to an old podcast from uscitizenpod: USCIS 100:99 July 4th, Slavery, and Fredrick Douglass

We will first read about Q99 from the USCIS M638 quick civics lesson. Then we will discuss the Declaration of Independence, the Compromise of 1850, and abolitionist Fredrick Douglass. Then we will listen to a short reading from Fredrick Douglass speech: “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” Note that Negro was a common term for Black or African-Americans, but it is not often used today. Let's get started.


excerpt from The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro by Fredrick Douglass

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?

I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelly to which he is the constant victim.

To him, your celebration is a sham;
your boasted liberty, an unholy license;
your national greatness, swelling vanity;
your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless;
your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence;
your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery;
your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings,
with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast,
fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages...

TimelessReader1: Meaning of July 4th for the Negro - Frederick Douglass Speech - Hear the Text

Listen to and read text from The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro, written by abolitionist and former slave: Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass presented this speech on July 5, 1852 in Rochester, NY. This speech concludes with a poem, a peace prayer, written by William Lloyd Garrison

For more info:

See zinnedproject.org: Frederick Douglass Fights for Freedom

Watch actor Danny Glover read abolitionist Frederick Douglass's "Fourth of July Speech, 1852" on October 5, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. Part of a reading from Voices of a People's History of the United States (Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove.)

NPR: ‘What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July?’: Descendants Read Frederick Douglass' Speech 

The U.S. celebrates this Independence Day amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic reforms. In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" which asks all of us to consider America's long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans.

Monday, July 4, 2022

U.S. Citizenship Resources for Independence Day


The administration is also launching a governmentwide effort aimed at encouraging millions of immigrants to apply to become US citizens.  Watch the full video here: wh.gov: President Biden Participates in a Naturalization Ceremony

Resources for Independence Day

SI.edu/USCIS: Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship
This web resource provides online videos and activities on the 100 civics questions from the naturalization test and highlights museum objects from the Smithsonian Institution. 

USCIS: List of Naturalization Ceremonies on Independence Day 2022

USCIS: For Independence Day
USCIS highlights some of the resources for learners and teachers that are related to this important holiday.  Includes Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence and Establishing Independence.

USCIS: Civics Questions Playlist 
USCIS helps you prepare for the civics test by posting a new playlist: one video for each civics and history question asked by different examiners.  For Independence Day, check out 100:08, 09, 61, 62, 63, 64, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100. Good job, USCIS!

More Resources

American English at State: Celebrate Independence Day (pdf)
Americans celebrate Independence Day on July 4 because on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, officially breaking bonds with England and forming a new independent nation, the United States of America.

Jennifer ESL: Lesson 26 - Red, White & Blue Idioms - Happy Fourth of July!
Learn six idioms based on the colors red, white, and blue.  MORE PRACTICE

Rachel's English: 4th of July Traditions
Happy 4th of July! This is the day we celebrate America’s independence. Study vocabulary, pronunciation, and phrases as we study REAL English conversation and learn about 4th of July traditions in the US.

This #IndependenceDay, we celebrate our democracy's progress toward a more equitable and prosperous society of the people, by the people, and for the people.

TED-ED: What you might not know about the Declaration of Independence - Kenneth C. Davis (video)
In June 1776, a little over a year after the start of the American Revolutionary War, the US Continental Congress huddled together in a hot room in Philadelphia to talk independence. Kenneth C. Davis dives into some of the lesser known facts about the process of writing the Declaration of Independence and questions one very controversial omission.

uscitizenpod: Independence Day Citizenship Interview with Lien Ho (2017)

uscitizenpod: A Quick Interview Based on the N-400r plus 10qs for Independence Day
New for 2016: 24 questions based on the N-400r plus 10 civics question.

We will discuss the Declaration of Independence, the Compromise of 1850, and abolitionist Fredrick Douglass. 

uscitizenpod: US Citizenship Podcast Independence Day Quiz (video)
Celebrate Independence Day with uscitizenpod. Here is a quiz based on USCIS 100:08, 09, 61, 62, 63, 64, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100.

One of the themes of this year's Smithsonian Folk Life Festival is immigration. As part of the festival events, a group of 25 children were sworn in as U.S. Citizens, just ahead of America's Independence Day holiday. VOA's Elizabeth Cherneff reports.

VOA Learning English;  America's Birthplace: Independence National Historical Park (mp3 and article)
This week, our U.S. National Parks journey takes us to the eastern city of Philadelphia, an important place in American history.

President Biden Participates in a Naturalization Ceremony to Welcome Citizens to Our Country Ahead of Independence Day

Today, Americans are #BackTogether – celebrating our country’s July 4th Independence Day and the progress we have made against the virus together. 

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Special Independence Day naturalization ceremony held


Independence Day is taking on a whole new meaning for a group of people celebrating the July 4th holiday a little early by becoming citizens. As CBS2's Alice Gainer reports, Friday's special ceremony was a dream come true

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Supreme Court Cases That Have Shaped American Life


Since the U.S. Supreme Court first assembled in 1790, it has ruled on tens of thousands of cases. The court’s decisions have defined the country’s legal framework and shaped countless aspects of U.S. society. Here are some cases that had a large impact on American life.

Learn More about the Supreme Court
  • si.edu Preparing the Oath: The Court videos
  • TED-ed: How do US Supreme Court justices get appointed? - Peter Paccone video
  • USCIS: Judicial Branch (beginning) | (intermediate)
  • US Courts: Pathways to the Bench Play list videos
  • uscitizenpod: A citizenship quiz that celebrates Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her Sisters in Law and Justice pdf and mp3
  • VOA News: The Supreme Court series (EXCELLENT!)
  • VOX: How a case gets to the US Supreme Court video

Friday, July 1, 2022

The Inside Story: Democracy in America


From a landmark Supreme Court decision on abortion to the investigation into the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, how is America dealing with divisive issues and seismic events on The Inside Story: Democracy in America.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Jackson Sworn in, Becomes 1st Black Woman on Supreme Court


Nearly three months after she won confirmation to the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in as the court's 116th justice on Thursday. 

The 51-year-old Jackson took the place Thursday of the justice she once worked for: Justice Stephen Breyer, whose retirement took effect at noon. 

Moments later, joined by her family, Jackson recited the two oaths required of Supreme Court justices, one administered by Breyer and the other by Chief Justice John Roberts. 

“With a full heart, I accept the solemn responsibility of supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States and administering justice without fear or favor, so help me God,” Jackson said in a statement issued by the court. “I am truly grateful to be part of the promise of our great Nation. I extend my sincerest thanks to all of my new colleagues for their warm and gracious welcome.” 

Roberts welcomed Jackson “to the court and our common calling.” The ceremony was streamed live on the court's website. 

Jackson, a federal judge since 2013, is joining three other women, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett — the first time four women will serve together on the nine-member court. 


USCIS 100:01. What is the supreme law of the land?

USCIS 100:12. What is the “rule of law”?

USCIS 100:37. What does the judicial branch do?

USCIS 100:38. What is the highest court in the United States?

USCIS 100:39. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?

USCIS 100:40. Who is the Chief Justice of the United States now?

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Trump Fought Secret Service to Join Capitol Rioters, White House Aide Testifies


U.S. lawmakers’ investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol resumed Tuesday with testimony from a top Trump White House aide. As VOA’s congressional correspondent Katherine Gypson explains, the testimony sheds new light on the former president’s attempt to hold onto power.

Monday, June 27, 2022

World Refugee Day

Share America: World Refugee Day 

 As this year's World Refugee Day theme states, "Whoever. Wherever. Whenever. Everyone has the right to seek safety."

Sunday, June 26, 2022

American PRIDE!

In honor of LGBT Pride Month, a single question about the Flag: Long May She Wave!  Text: uscitizenpod |  Video: Lori Saltis

Take the full quiz:

LOVE AND PRIDE: A Citizenship Quiz in Honor of LGBT Pride Month (10 questions)

Center for Civic Education: 60 Second Civics LGBTQ+ Pride Week Series
  • Part 1: What’s Significant About the Stonewall Riots? 
  • Part 2: Laying the Groundwork for LGBTQ+ Rights
  • Part 3: Goodridge: The Cinderella Moment for Marriage Equality
  • Part 4: Early Legislative Victories for LGBTQ+ Rights
  • Part 5: The Defense of Marriage Act
  • Part 6: Obergefell v. Hodges
  • Part 7: The Future for LGBTQ+ Rights

  • President Biden Deliver Remarks to Celebrate Pride Month 2022
  • President Biden Signs H.R. 49, to Designate the National Pulse Memorial, Into Law 2021
  • Remarks by President Joe Biden in Recognition of LGBTQ+ Pride Month 2021
  • Vice President Harris Holds a Roundtable Marking LGBTQ+ Pride Month 2021

  • Secretary Blinken hosts and delivers remarks at a Pride Reception at the Department of State. 2022
  • Progress Flag Raising Ceremony at US Department of State in Honor of Pride Month - 3:30 PM 2021
  • Secretary Blinken Atlantic Council Pride Interview 2021
  • Secretary Blinken Celebrates Pride Month 2021
  • Secretary Blinken participates in a virtual conversation “Pressing for Equality"- 1:00 PM 2021

VOA News and VOA Learning English:
updated June 27, 2021

Friday, June 24, 2022

US Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade


The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the decades-old Roe v. Wade decision, which said women have a constitutional right to have an abortion. States will now decide whether to permit the procedure; it's expected that roughly half could do so. VOA’s Laurel Bowman reports. 

Learn more: 
  • USCIS 100:37-47 System of Gov’t: Judicial Branch, State Gov’t, Political Parties pdf

Jan. 6 Investigators: Trump Pressured Department of Justice to Overturn 2020 Election


Learn more:

N-400 Section Interviews: Thirty N-400 Section Practice Interviews Based on the USCIS Application for Naturalization (updated).  Download all 30 interviews in one convenient pdf!

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

January 6 Investigators: Trump Pressured Election Officials in Key States


‘No evidence’ of election fraud in Georgia, Arizona to justify Trump claims.

Learn more:
  • uscitizenpod: Electoral College Citizenship Quizzes
    • Part 1: U.S. Civics mp3 / pdf
    • Part 2: U.S. History mp3 / pdf

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

USCIS Eligible to Naturalize Factsheets by County and Zip Code

LPRs per zip code in Santa Clara County.  Milpitas, CA 95035--my home town-leads the way!  
See y'all at Milpitas Adult School adulted.musd.org!

From March to May 2022, USCIS released a series of factsheets that highlight Lawful Permanent Residents who are eligible to--but have not naturalized--yet.  Please check this list, see if your service area is listed, and consider how to tailor your ESL/Citizenship to help these LPRs to become U.S. citizens.

Thanks Kelton for the head's up!

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Juneteenth Monday


Juneteenth was first celebrated on June 19, 1866. A year earlier on that date, enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom and that the US Civil War had ended two months earlier.

uscitizenpod: A Juneteenth Citizenship Quiz: 19 Civics Questions that Celebrate Freedom


uscitzenpod: USCIS 100:76 Emancipation Proclamation and Juneteenth

More U.S. Citizenship resources for Juneteenth

Saturday, June 18, 2022

What does the Juneteenth flag mean?


The Juneteenth flag commemorates the day that slavery ended in the US. 

On Thursday, June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill Thursday, passed by Congress, to set aside Juneteenth, or June 19th, as a federal holiday. 

The celebration started with the freed slaves of Galveston, Texas. They got the news the war was over and they were free in 1865 on June 19, a date that was melded into the word “Juneteenth.”

Sunday, June 12, 2022

U.S. Citizenship Resources for Flag Day (June 14)

New Tradition: The Civic Season starts on Flag Day (June 14), continues to Juneteenth (June 19th), and ends Independence Day (July 4). 

Get ready for Flag Day On June 14 with a Pop Quiz, then try the full thirteen question quiz below.

Learn more:

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Protesters Press for Broader Representation at Summit of the Americas


As leaders from many Western Hemisphere nations tackle issues such as climate change and migration at the Summit of the Americas, protesters unhappy with the official agenda gathered outside the meeting and held an alternative people's summit nearby. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles. 

Biden said the United States will expand opportunities for people to come to the United States, allowing 20,000 refugees from the region to resettle in the country over the next two years.

U.S. State Dept.: Summit of the Americas

The United States is hosting the Ninth Summit of the Americas this week in Los Angeles, California with a focus on “Building a Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Future” for our hemisphere.

The Summits of the Americas are institutionalized gatherings of the heads of state and government of the Western Hemisphere where leaders discuss common policy issues, affirm shared values and commit to concerted actions at the national and regional level to address continuing and new challenges faced in the Americas.

Unionists, activists, grassroots organizations and progressive people of the Americas met for the People’s Summit on June 8th, 9th and 10th to counter the 9th Summit of the Americas to be held in Los Angeles, CA.


USCIS 100:6. What is one right or freedom from the First Amendment?*

USCIS 100:9. What are two rights in the Declaration of Independence?

USCIS 100:51. What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?

USCIS 100:58. What is one reason colonists came to America?

USCIS 100:77. What did Susan B. Anthony do?

USCIS 100:84. What movement tried to end racial discrimination?

Friday, June 10, 2022

January 6th Committee Hearing


After more than a year of investigation, the January 6 Committee held its first public hearing Thursday night, making the case before the American people that former U.S. President Donald Trump directed his followers to storm the U.S. Capitol as part of a conspiracy to hold on to the presidency.


USCIS 100:21. The House of Representatives has how many voting members? 

USCIS 100:23. Name your U.S. Representative.

USCIS 100:26. We elect a President for how many years?

USCIS 100:27. In what month do we vote for President?*

USCIS 100:28. What is the name of the President of the United States now?*

USCIS 100:29. What is the name of the Vice President of the United States now?

USCIS 100:51. What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?

USCIS 100:52. What do we show loyalty to when we say the Pledge of Allegiance?

USCIS 100:53. What is one promise you make when you become a United States citizen?

USCIS 100:94. What is the capital of the United States?*