Search This Blog

Monday, July 3, 2017

Should I Celebrate Independence Day?

What isn’t fun about the 4th of July? Countless Americans will gather together for cookouts, enjoy delicious BBQ, and revel in the tradition of watching fireworks. Many will do so with deep gratitude for the freedom they enjoy as Americans. Freedom is the bedrock foundation of our nation for many. On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted for the Colonies’ independence from Great Britain. Two days later, delegates from the 13 colonies adopted Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. So on the 4th of July, the Colonists declared that America would be a free Land—A Land where men and women from the four corners of the globe could and would come to pursue their dreams without the restraint of class or (forced taxation) of a dominant culture. It was a democratic experiment. The idea of America was to give birth to a dream. A land governed by the people and for the people. A hard war still had to be fought. Heroes were yet to be made. With the help of France, the colonists defeated the world’s strongest army and won their freedom in 1783. Then America—the Land of the Free was born. 

The Problem with the War for Independence for African Americans

My forefathers came to America in the early 1600s. They arrived in shackles. When the War for Independence began, they had been enslaved for 150 years doing hard labor. Their treatment was cruel, yet they were loyal to their new land. They too risked their lives and fought and died
in the war. Although as history informs us, it wasn’t the War for Independence that gave them their freedom—that would come via the Civil War, fought 80 years later. And that war wasn’t fought for the freedom of slaves; it was fought over the issue of states’ rights versus federal rights. But the Land of the Free had to realize its dream that all men were created equal and all men should be free to pursue their dreams without the restraint of class, the oppression of a dominant culture, or injustice because of the color of their skin. The idea of America was a dream that would only be true if it ended the nightmare of slavery.