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So I have a confession...I get nervous when writing about controversial topics. I've always been that person who hates conflict and will do everything in my power to avoid it. Do you know those people who would feel some type of way about something and instead of addressing the issue they don't say anything to the other party involved from getting offended? Yup, those annoying people. I'm one of them! But hey, don't judge me just yet, I am working on speaking my mind and telling people how I feel. It really depends on my comfort level with the person. But anyway back to the point of the post, I'm sure you've figured it out hence the name, Fourth of July for Black People. Today I scrolled through my feed and saw tons of patriotism but the post that stood out the most was this photo.
I didn't comment on the photo to ask the user her motive for posting it. Does this mean she isn't attending a BBQ today? Isn't decked out in red, white, and blue? Isn't going to watch the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks?
On a more serious note, I get it, I totally understand where she is coming from. Our people remained enslaved while America gained independence so why should African-Americans celebrate this holiday? Frederick Douglass said it the best in 1852,
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 cruelty 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 sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, 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. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.
Hours later I saw the photo below with the caption, "Where it all started...Despite inequality and racism my ancestors fought for a nation of what they dreamed it could be. #TrueAmericans #SC #FreedomFilter #HappyFourth"
These photos inspired me to write this and it's not knocking anyone's perspective, I'm just stating my opinion because this is my platform to do so. I deserve to celebrate this holiday just as much as any other American.
Yes racism, classism, and multiple forms of inequality exist and continue to affect black people, but we are in a different place than we were in 1776 and that should be celebrated. Whether it is celebrated on July 4, December 6, the third Monday in January, or the whole month of February. We have gained physical freedom and independence, it is our mentalities that remain captive.
Where do you stand on this subject?