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July 4th edition

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Is that still a thing???





When I was a little girl, July 4th meant bbqs, chasing fireflies, and enjoying the fireworks my parents had purchased for me and my 5 other siblings. As time went by, it has become one of my most treasured holidays. To me, independence day is not just about celebrating the country's independence from the British monarchy, but more about the American dream and one's definition of independence. Over the years, this holiday has become a beacon of hope for some, and a wonderful tradition passed down from generation to generation for others. To me, it seems like Summer is a little cooler with the rocket's red glare and bombs bursting in the air. Whether you are celebrating financial independence. Independence from your spouse or parents. I want to let you know I have been there. I am so proud of you for digging deep within yourself and finding that coal that ignited your spirit and instilled in you the motivation to want to go out into the world and live your truth. No matter what they say, or even what it looks like to anybody else, you are doing just fine.

As an African American woman, I was raised in the South, and I was taught to celebrate America's independence day. With growth comes the responsibility of maturity, and in maturing I learned to look into history, I realized that my ancestors were not free during this time. And throughout the 1800s black Americans used the Fourth of July to argue for emancipation and full citizenship, making the case that black citizens, free and enslaved, had as much right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as white people. Frederick Douglass a well-established activist and abolitionist was invited to the Rochester Ladies' anti-slavery society to give a Fourth of July in lecture in May of 1852, that he titled "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July." Douglass starts with some 'sugar'. He praises George Washington, James Madison, and other colleagues, saying that they set into motion a worldwide revolution and calling the Constitution and Declaration of Independence sacred documents. Then, he makes a turn. He is quoted saying, "You have been getting by on your forefathers legacy." Douglass went on to say that the existence of enslavement in the US, "Brands your Republicanism as a sham and your humanity as a base pretense and your Christianity as a lie." Douglass went on even further to say that the day of the supposed celebration should actually be a day of national mourning because the nation's promise fell short. "It should not be a day of covering up with symbols and celebrations of a revolution fought and won because it does not yet come to pass." This is why I, and many other Black Americans also celebrate Juneteenth, and why myself, a vast majority of people of color and Frederick Douglass's own relationship with the Fourth of July was, and still is complicated. On a positive note, A black activist by the name of Martin Delaney would say true patriotism and love of your country requires critique. At the same time, we have great memories of shooting fireworks with our uncles and having a barbecue. This is our home. America is my home. Happy Fourth of July Everyone! Independence Day History

Independence Day celebrated the Fourth of July is a federal holiday in the United States. It commemorates the Declaration of Independence, which was ratified by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, establishing the United States of America as a country. The Founding Fathers delegates declared that the 13 colonies were no longer subject or subordinate to the monarchy of Britain, King George the Third, and we're now united, free, and independent. Congress voted to approve independence by passing the LEA resolution on July 2 and adopted the Declaration of Independence two days later. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches, and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history of government and traditions of the US independence is a national day for the United States.

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