The Fourth of July holiday is fast approaching and business as usual has resumed for many fellow bloggers. I see red white and blue outfit ideas all over social media alongside upcoming holiday sales and holiday weekend plans. Still, Fourth of July feels so different this year and I can’t help but think that we are FAR from the “Land of the Free.” At the time the founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence, slavery in America was in full force. Many of the founding fathers themselves were slave owners. Some worked to abolish slavery as well but many did not and slavery remained legal for nearly another century!
My friend Megan recently shared a post about “Juneteenth” which celebrates the last African-American slave being set free in 1865. However slavery was abolished two years prior in 1863. TWO YEARS. Why did we never learn about Juneteenth in school yet Fourth of July is a national holiday? Even before the Emancipation Proclamation, the abolitionist Frederick Douglas gave a speech on the hypocrisy of the Fourth of July. I never learned about this speech in school. God forbid they tarnish our precious Fourth of July! I’m not surprised because whitewashing American history is just one of the many examples of the deep roots of racism in our country.
We also have people still fighting to fly their confederate flags as a symbol of their supposed “Southern Heritage.” Flying a symbol of hatred and oppression is not heritage. It’s evil and heartless. Flying this flag in my opinion should be illegal because of what it represents. Why would anyone be proud to fly a flag that represented the pro-slavery confederate states? It’s no wonder that to this day black people still fear for their lives on a day to day basis. This is not freedom. These are invisible chains that exist because of the behaviors and ideas set in place by our forefathers long ago. This nation has a long way to go because freedom for all men should not mean freedom for some men and while I don’t believe this is currently the “Land of the Free,” I can’t deny that it’s definitely the “Home of the Brave.”
“For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”
The bravery I have seen over the last few weeks and months has been so inspiring. Brave black men and women that fight everyday for modern day freedom to live the same as their white counterparts. I think of the brave black soldiers that fought and still fight in the military for a country that oppresses them. Every day there are brave men and women who are using their voices in protest. I see people being brave enough to stand up to their friends and family when they make off color jokes and comments. Being brave means doing what is right even when society wants you to cave. Even though we are still not the “Land of the Free” Let’s continue to be the “Home of the Brave.” Whether or not you choose to celebrate this holiday please be safe and enjoy the weekend!
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